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MARTHA DOESN'T SHARE! by Samantha Berger


by Samantha Berger & illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-316-07367-7
Publisher: Little, Brown

Martha (her new favorite word is “mine”) is more than a bit reluctant to share her toys with her baby brother. Solution? Her family ostracizes her until she capitulates. Martha is an appealingly expressive and self-possessed preschool sea otter, and the lineup of items she calls “mine” is quite funny (a lava lamp, a cupcake, a potted plant, a chair, all the teddy bears). As rendered by Whatley, her family is nicely rounded and their expressions patient and loving. The text is simple, nicely paced and to the point: " ‘K, Maffa,’ says Edwin as he waddles away." But the resolution is a bit flat-footed, coming after Martha is left to think about sharing: “She thinks and thinks and thinks about it.” This thinking approach would seem to be a developmental unlikelihood for a preschooler as young as Martha. Young listeners who don’t simply feel sorry for the lesson imposed on her may feel manipulated or even slightly outraged on her behalf. Still, for Martha’s fans or for parents looking for a book to help deliver a message, this may be just the ticket. (Picture book. 2-5)