Mine by Shutta Crum

Cindy: There’s no lack of picture books dealing with the important toddler issue of sharing, but few so delightfully illustrated as Mine! (Knopf 2011). Patrice Barton’s digitally created pencil sketches are full of humor and the complete range of emotions that toddlers exhibit when a favorite toy, or toys, (or dog), is under negotiation. The text is spare, to say the least (HA), consisting primarily of “mine” as the toddler protects his toys from a younger baby playmate…and his own traitorous dog. Page spreads and turns are used to great effect here too. I’d let you borrow my copy, but you should get your own. This one’s MINE!

Lynn:  Ah, sharing – one of those issues that starts early and goes on for a loooong time!  The focus group is past this initial everything-I-can-see-is-mine stage but they still have rancorous conversations about particular Lego pieces that are apparently critically essential to a design scheme.  Although they are now the ripe old age of 8 and consider themselves way too old for this, the boys thought the book was very funny.

Barton’s child-level perspectives of two adorable moppets are as perceptive as they are endearing.  Parents of toddlers will like this book as much as their offspring and the humor helps to gently makes a point that even the youngest readers will understand.

Since Cindy isn’t sharing, I’m heading out to buy this book for the youngest member of our focus group, Henry, who with his dandelion cloud of blond hair bears a striking resemblance the baby in the illustrations.  As of yet he doesn’t have to share but well –  I’m still hoping for that granddaughter some day!

Cindy: My copy was an f&g (“folded & gathered” unbound galley) so it wouldn’t hold up to Henry’s vigorous page turns anyway. I’ll definitely be purchasing copies, though, for siblings with new babies in the family. It will make a great gift book.



About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "Mine by Shutta Crum"

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  1. shutta@shuttacrum.com' Shutta Crum says:

    Cindy & Lynn; It was fun to read your review of MINE! I am so in LOVE with Patrice’s artwork!!! The book has so far garnered four starred reviews, and a lovely review by the N Y Times online. Your comments only make it all sweeter. It’s been a wonderful summer.


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