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Picture books about sharing

A pair of new releases reinforce the message.

  • I Must Have Bobo

  • I Must Have Bobo

  • The Bear Who Shared

  • The Bear Who Shared

I Must Have Bobo

Sharing isn't always easy. Though it's one of the most human impulses there is, it's also one of the toughest for children to grasp. Coming to the rescue are two wonderfully expressive picture books, each with a different take on what it is to share. Told almost entirely through spare, Harold and the Purple Crayon--esque drawings, I Must Have Bobo! (Atheneum, $15, ages 3 to 6), by author Eileen Rosenthal and illustrator Marc Rosenthal, chronicles the frustration a boy feels following the disappearance of his sock-monkey friend. When he finds out the culprit is Earl, an adorable and mischievous gray cat who's equally smitten with Bobo, he learns through a bit of cat-and-monkey play that sharing is sometimes just a careful matter of taking turns.

Softer in tone is Catherine Rayner's The Bear Who Shared (Dial, $17, ages 3 to 5), the tale of three winsome critters—Norris the bear, Violet the mouse and Tulip the raccoon, charmingly rendered in pen and ink and watercolors—who yearn to taste the lone, ripe "plorringe" (an apparently delicious fruit) dangling from a tree. Violet and Tulip give it their best, climbing the tree in pursuit of the prize, but ultimately it's the wise Norris, waiting underneath, who gets what he wants—something that, it turns out, is even better than a snack.

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