A cluster of fallen nuts is the setting for an exploration of one of life’s most difficult concepts: not mine?
A fuzzy, red squirrel in blue overalls pushing a wheelbarrow is first on the scene, delighted to claim “my” nuts. This assumption is soon challenged by a compatriot in a yellow dress with a red wagon. Clinging to the same morsel as other creatures take sides (“His nuts!” “Her nuts!”), the duo faces off across the gutter while a rabbit tries to impose reason by division, suggesting “Your nuts… / and your nuts.” This leads to full-blown tantrums and a cooling-off period while the rodents sit, miffed, in their respective patches of grass. The action all takes place in the foreground. Vibrant, mixed-media animals and hints of landscaping are easy to follow against cream-colored pages. There are ladybugs and bees to count, a snail’s progress to track, and a minimal text in a large font; these elements, combined with the theme, make this a title that will serve young children well, visually and conceptually. Finally, the squirrel in blue thinks of a different pronoun: “Our nuts?” Peace is restored, and the departing characters summarize the solution: “Their nuts!” By the time the duo discovers apples, it seems they have assimilated their new vocabulary.
This memorable story will help toddlers (and caregivers) connect behavior to the language of sharing. (Picture book. 2-4)