mine

Mine! by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton

One of only two words used in this picture book about sharing is “mine” and it is said again and again.   A toddler is visited by a baby, and carefully gathers up his toys before the littler one can get her hands on them.  With each grab, he announces “mine.”  His arms fill up with toys, so the baby grabs the last toy on the floor, forcing the toddler to drop all of the others.  Now the puppy gets in on the game, grabbing and chewing on a ball that bounces his way.  While the toddler tries to get the ball away from the dog, the baby tosses her toy into the dog’s water dish.  Just when the story seems poised for a tantrum, the joy of playing in water together saves the day.

This adorable little book has a great sense of playfulness.  Even when the little boy is gathering his toys up, there is no sense of malice in his actions.  I appreciated that the story does have parents hovering at the edge of the story, but they are uninvolved in the action and the sharing in the end.  Instead, this is a resolution entirely reached by the children themselves.

Baron’s art has a soft color palette that adds warmth and ease to the story.  She captures facial expressions particularly well, on both the children and the puppy.  There is a sense of absolute joy at times, often juxtaposed with amazement on the face of another character.  She also renders toddlers and babies well, with their rounded features and limbs looking particularly plump and adorable.  The action is readily followed with the dotted lines that show the motion of toys from one person or place to the next.

A charming book about sharing that doesn’t have any lecture built in at all, this one is a winner for toddlers.  Appropriate for ages 1-3.

Reviewed from library copy.

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