cover image People Share with People

People Share with People

Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Molly Idle. Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2559-0

In this follow-up to People Don’t Bite People, Wheeler and Idle tackle a topic that encompasses a host of ideas: generosity, cooperation, empathy, individual agency, self-control, and, above all, a sense of shared humanity: “People share with people./ We DON’T live in a zoo!/ What’s yours is yours,/ what’s mine is mine—/I CHOOSE to share with you.” And sharing isn’t just about stuff you have, the authors note. There’s generosity of spirit as well: readers are urged to think about sharing “bigger things” such as “LOVE, RESPECT, and TIME,” and the collective responsibility for the planet we share. The cast of roly-poly round-headed kids is fun to follow through their good choices and bad, and the vignettes, set against backgrounds of deep, gradient colors, always feel more cajoling than scolding. But the book doesn’t have quite the same zing as its predecessor, even when the book takes a brief tangent to convey that it’s unwise to share a sneeze or toothbrush. While sharing may often be the kind thing to do, as a topic, it pales in comparison to why one shouldn’t take a chomp out of a peer. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.) [/em]