Tuesday, September 1, 2015

That's (not) Mine by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant

Anna Kang's first book, You Are (Not) Small, was a fun look at perspectives. Now she has branched out into a classic sharing theme, but with her own fun twist.

The story begins with the big bear comfortably settled in its chair and knitting. Then along comes a short, blue interloper who declares "That's my chair." The argument escalates until the little fuzzy produces their own chair. It's a....really nice chair. It squeaks! It spins! Big fuzzy begs for a chance to try it out but it ends badly...and guess who gets the chair? Temporarily anyways. The fight is back on and gets more and more heated until a simple apology ends it all and they take off to play together - leaving the chair open for another claimant.

Christopher Weyant's ink and watercolor illustrations make me think of colored pencils and markers. They have that friendly, child-like feel while still being smooth and professional. His fuzzy creatures with their bulgy noses are cartoonish and yet relatable, with a wide variety of expressions and body language. The illustrations are simple, just the chair(s) and the fuzzy creatures against a plain white background, but the humor, feelings, and mischievous activities shine through.

If parents are looking for a book that will "teach" their kids to share, this probably won't be the one. I'm skeptical of bibliotherapy in general anyways. But if they're looking for a book that will make them stop and giggle the next time they yell "it's mine!" this is it.

Verdict: Fun, fresh, and thoroughly enjoyable. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781477826393; Published September 2015 by Two Lions/Amazon; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

[Side note] I couldn't resist putting up the adorable poster in my reading area. Granted, I have more problems with kids building, throwing, climbing, and jumping on and off the cushions, but maybe they'll get the hint!

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