bear who shared

The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner

Norris, the bear, knew that the plorringes were the best fruits.  So he waited under the plorringe tree because he knew something special was going to happen.  Tulip and Violet, a mouse and a raccoon, knew that plorringes were the best too.  They were able to climb up in the tree to get closer to the single hanging plorringe.  They could see how delicious it looked and smell its delicious scent.  They listened to it and hugged it too.  They were just about to lick it when it fell off of the tree and down right onto Norris’ head.  Now Norris was closest to the plorringe and had it all to himself.  But just as Norris was patient, he was also a very nice bear.  The type of bear who would not only share but would make some new friends doing it.

The story here is one that has been shared in many picture books.  Rayner’s writing has a gentle repetition that is almost not noticeable.  She has a playfulness and a warmth to her writing that makes it a pleasure to read aloud.

It is the illustrations that make this book something extraordinary.  There is the brawny brown of the bear done in overlapping paint that show his girth and weight, but also his sturdiness and steadiness.   Then the raccoon is a mash of black and grays, blending and merrily mixing, capturing the dynamic movements.  The mouse is all delicate line and a whisper of pink expression for the tail.  The plorringe is yellows, reds and pinks, a mix of mango, plum, and guava.

A book about sharing and friendship that will be loved due to the illustrations.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books for Young Readers.