Mine! Or is it?
For blue mouse and orange mouse, sharing does not come naturally. The turf war begins with a huge rock—or what appears to be a rock—then progresses to a hunk of cheese, a wrapped present, a pile of rocks, and more. For the majority of this graphically simple picture book, done in a palette Mack limits to black, white, blue, gray, and orange, the gutter separates the mice as they compete to own the biggest and most. When they do appear on the same page, one is usually preparing to inflict damage on the other. At the climax, the two appear on facing pages, fists up, fighting mad, and the stark separation between the orange on the left page and the blue on the right foreshadows a grand battle. Only a force of nature neither of them anticipates brings a change of heart. The perfect parable for kids who just can’t share, this story also pokes fun at excess and competition over stuff. Given the gender-neutrality of both mice, readers of any gender can see bits of themselves in these hotheaded mice. True to the book’s message, “MINE” is the only word that appears in it, and the color of the word always matches that of the speaking mouse.
A behavioral window for some, a mirror for many, and a delightful book for all. (Picture book. 3-6)