A Bear Like Me
Written by: Varina Penner
Illustrated by: Varina Penner
8.75 x 8.75 x 0.3 inches
Hardcover picture book with full colour interiors
A Bear Like Me follows the journey of little Brown Near named Bruno. He is actually quite ignorant and doesn't think that other bears are as good as brown bears, but he is willing to learn. As he meets each bear, he points out their differences as flaws. Pia the panda counters this by telling him how these flaws are actually just unique parts of each bear that make them who they are.
By the end of the story, Bruno understands that there are many types of bears, and they are all equal. Her book is meant to convey that people, in general, are all unique. What is important is that we love and accept all people regardless of how different we are, or whether we agree with one another.
About Varina Penner: From a young age, Varina Penner imagined herself as a writer. Bringing emotion and understanding has always been something she enjoys, whether through writing or any other type of art. Words and the way they can create stories have always intrigued her. Turning the black and white symbols on a page into entire worlds in her mind has always seemed like a beautiful kind of art.
This all spoke to Varina when she learned about the Diverse Minds competition. The thought of entering swam around in her mind for quite some time, but it wasn't until one sleepless night that she began to form the story and plot.
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