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*Mine!* by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Also illustrated by Patrice Barton:

I Like Old Clothes
by Shutta Crum, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Ages 2-5 30 pages Knopf August 2012 Board book    

Sharing is a very difficult thing to learn! Shutta Crum’s new board book, Mine!, deals with the process of learning to share. Using only two words--“mine” and “woof”—a toddler and a very curious baby interact with each other – and learn a great deal about playing with each other and sharing their toys.

Readers meet the toddler and the baby on the very first page when two adults leave them alone to play with a collection of toys. The two adults appear as legs on a page, and the only other character in this book is a curious dog.

The toddler keeps repeating the word “mine” as all the toys disappear into his/her hands. But baby is determined to keep a tiny rabbit, which is promptly thrown into the air. The dog catches the rabbit and throws it into the water as baby laughs and toddler frets.

The unlikely pair is now laughing together as they “share” the pile of toys. Baby, toddler and dog are all playing together. In the end, baby hugs the shocked toddler, shouting “mine!”

Patrice Barton’s vibrant illustrations are full of lively action. Since there are only two words actually spoken in this board book, readers must rely on the pictures to understand the story. They get to know the testy toddler and the curious baby through their expressions and body language.

At first, the toddler is grasping and selfish as he/she hoards all the toys. However, the innocent baby’s exuberant laughter and infectious enthusiasm for play soon causes the toddler to forget his/her selfishness, and start to play with the baby. In the end, a friendship has developed between the two.

Shutta Crum became a children’s author in 2001 with the publication of her first book, Who Took My Hairy Toe? Since then she has published both novels and picture books. Mine! is her most recent picture book. It was listed as one of the Best Books of the Year by School Library Journal.

Mine! will definitely become a favorite read-aloud for teachers and caregivers. The lack of intricate text will engage young readers in the action of the story. This format allows for lots of conversation and interaction between the text, the reader and the listener! The text of the board book will encourage discussion about important issues such as sharing, friendship and playing with others.
Children's board book reviews for babies and toddlers

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