cover image Mine!


Hiawyn Oram. Barron's Educational Series, $5.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8120-4905-3

Learning to share is often difficult for children, as is painfully highlighted in this slight picture book. Isabel arrives at Claudia's house for a play date, only to find that her iron-willed friend is not keen on sharing her toys. Attempts by Isabel to ride a rocking horse or hold a ``carrot top doll'' result in Claudia's screaming ``Mine!'' Finally, in a rather heated scuffle over a tricycle, Claudia literally pushes too far and the wildly rolling trike ends up as a pile of scrap. Oram's matter-of-fact tone does little to soften this gratingly unpleasant story. The epitome of a bratty toddler, Claudia is a mean-spirited child who repeatedly fails to be gracious even after her mother's amiable coaxing. Rees's chipper watercolors exude frivolity aplenty, but Claudia's consistent sourpuss expression ultimately casts a gray cloud over the proceedings. Ages 2-5. (Mar.)