Norton and the Bear

Berbay. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781922610447.
PreS-Gr 2–Norton the dog prides himself on his unique style, and loves to dress differently than others. One day, Norton purchases a cozy sweater that no one else is wearing. His happiness is cut short when a large bear expresses his love for the sweater and buys an identical one. Affronted, Norton flees and shops for another unique piece for himself, only to be followed by the admiring bear. This continues until Norton declares, “Stop copying me!” to the bear, who is then hurt that his overtures of friendship are rejected. A sweet conclusion reminds readers that there is always room and opportunity for creative expression and individuality. Evans approaches oft-discussed topics of conformity and self-expression with thoughtfulness and care, making this an outstanding choice for classroom and group sharing, complemented superbly by the warm and engaging illustrations.
VERDICT Heartwarming and humorous, as well as filled with rewarding discussion opportunities, this is a valuable addition to all collections.

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