cover image Mine!


Shutta Crum, illus. by Patrice Barton. Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86711-8

An egocentric preschooler (is there any other kind?) and an enthralled baby are placed in a room with a collection of toys and a bemused canine observer. Let the fun begin! The preschooler quickly lays claim to everything in sight: "Mine. Mine. Mine, mine, mine..." When the baby holds up the one thing the preschooler has failed to sweep up, the older child immediately tosses everything in his arms to grab it, declaring "MINE!" The discovery of the dog's water dish turns the story into a giddy, soppy free-for-all that culminates in the baby taking its (presumed) first steps to tackle the preschooler, while shrieking "MINE" in utter adoration. Crum (Thunder-Boomer!) uses only the title word (if you don't count a single "Woof?"), but the various inflections speak volumes about the comic dynamics of sharing. Barton (Sweet Moon Baby) occasionally uses a blue dotted line to trace the trajectory of objects and characters as they hurtle through the room. Her dizzyingly expressive digitized pencil sketches seem to be everywhere at once, continually reframing the action to make sure readers savor every gleefully anarchic moment. Ages 1%E2%80%934. (June)