Saturday, October 15, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and eighty-eight

Trying to convince a child that sharing is a good idea can be challenging. In fact, sometimes a battle ensures, with the child insisting that everything is "MINE!" Today's picture book tells the story of just such a child who claims all the toys are his, until he makes a very important discovery.

Shutta Crum
Illustrated by Patrice Barton
For ages 3 to 5
Random House, 2011, 978-0-375-86711-8
   One day a toddler and a baby are set up on the floor with a pile of toys to play with. The little toddler decides that a small stuffed giraffe is “Mine!” and he picks it up. The blue and white star, the red ball, the toy plane, and everything else is also “Mine!” Soon the only thing that is left on the floor is a little yellow toy, which the baby picks up.
   Seeing the baby holding the yellow toy is more than the toddler can stand. “MINE!” he shouts, casting aside all the other toys to get the coveted yellow toy.
   The little dog sees a green and white ball bouncing across the floor and he picks it up. This is not acceptable to the toddler who sets about retrieving the ball saying “Mine!” While the toddler is occupied with the dog, the baby throws the yellow toy into the dog bowl.
   One would think that this would be a catastrophe, but it isn’t. Instead, it is the beginning of a wonderful, wet, and slobbery game that the toddler, baby, and dog all share.
   Trying to show young children that sharing is a good thing can be rather challenging. How can sharing something with another child be better than having that something all to oneself? With no real text (beyond the word “Mine!”) this picture book shows to great effect how sharing some toys with others can be wonderful fun. 

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