Review Blog

Mar 30 2011

Norris, the bear who shared by Catherine Rayner

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Orchard Books, 2010. ISBN 9781846163098.
(Preschool - Year 1) Norris loved plorringes, and the plorringe on the tree was very nearly ripe. So, being wise, he lay down under the tree waiting for something special to happen. But the something special isn't quite what you guessed it would be when you saw Norris lying on his tummy under the tree because Tulip the raccoon and Violet the mouse also loved plorringes so they climb the tree to investigate it. While Norris watches and waits, they do much more than that, until -
Many authors for very young children explore themes of friendship and sharing through animals and toys as characters, but this one has that extra something that makes it stand out. It is very simple, but there is so much scope for interaction between reader and listener that will draw the child into a cosy, rewarding experience. It's not all there in the text - the illustrations are an integral part of the text in true picture-book style. And just what is a plorringe? And if you were to lie in wait under a tree, what do you think would be worth waiting for? Miss Almost-5 and I had a lot of discussion about that one. We decided it would be a rasbanango.
Catherine Rayner has a unique style of illustration, for which she was awarded the Kate Greenaway medal in 2009. (For more information about her work, see here). This is the first of her works that I've reviewed but I shall be on the lookout for more.
Barbara Braxton

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