Norton and Alpha
Norton is a very lovable collector who spends his days gathering bits and pieces that he uses to create new and wonderful inventions. Early in the story he creates a companion, Alpha, who goes with him on his collecting trips. After many successful excursions, Norton and Alpha collect a thing they can find no use for. They try it out in many situations and put it through a number of tests; eventually, though, they give up on finding a purpose for the thing and discard it. But is it useless? Time will show that what is untestable is not necessarily without value.
Norton and Alpha are both endearing characters, very simply drawn with only dots for eyes, but nevertheless very expressive. Kristyna Litten uses a limited palette, but the vibrant colours she has chosen to create the imaginative world of Norton and Alpha make the story sing. Overall this is a beautifully illustrated book with a lot of charm. Young readers will enjoy investigating all of Norton’s inventions and collected items, and all readers will appreciate that something unexpected and ‘useless’ can actually be the most important thing of all.