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MINE! by Mathilde Stein


by Mathilde Stein & illustrated by Mies van Hout

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59078-506-5
Publisher: Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills

Engaging illustrations carry this import beyond the utilitarian modeling of socialization skills—though it does that too. The ghost that moves into young Charlotte’s house one night has but one word and idea: “Mine!” it shouts, as it hogs the bed, clutches the bath items, slathers all the breakfast bread with butter and jelly and grabs up toys. But Charlotte responds calmly, explaining, for instance, that Bear has to fit into the bed too, suggesting that the ghost won’t have room for “any of this apple pie” after eating so many sandwiches, and turning away to play alone until the ghost shows a willingness to toss the ball back. Stein tells the tale without explicit lessons, the ghost’s scowls (which later change to smiles) and Charlotte’s low-key reactions clearly echo the changing emotional weather, and by the end the ghost has learned a new word: “Yours!” A good vocabulary builder for over-possessive children and a worthy peace-mongering strategy for their siblings and caregivers to boot. (Picture book. 4-6)