Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett

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Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Lovely fun pictures and a good rhyming story, although the 'message' was perhaps open to interpretation...
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN: 978-1849390095

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Ah, sharing! Perhaps one of the hardest lessons to teach a toddler is how to let go of a chosen toy and share it with someone else. My weekly playgroup is always full of loud parental demands of 'share!' followed by wails of distress from small children being forced to part with the one thing they absolutely, positively must have...until they spot something else they want! This promising-looking story deals with just such an issue, and in this case it is an older sister learning to share everything, from favourite blankets to tea-time food with her baby brother.

My three year old and I sat and read this story together one afternoon. It begins nicely enough, with a mischievous looking toddler holding her teddy in front of her crying baby brother. Mummy tells them to share, and they do, but sadly it results in teddy getting all soggy and stickied up with food. My daughter half covered her eyes at this point, sensing that things weren't going to go well with this sharing malarkey. We read on regardless, seeing the little girl sharing her favourite book of animals, which ends up bent and with stuck-together pages, followed by a jigsaw puzzle that gets chewed and a beloved, snuggly blanket that ends up dirty and wet in the garden. I began to feel uncomfortable, since every time the older girl shared something precious to her it ended up wrecked, which didn't seem to be sending a very positive message!

She soon gets her own back, however. She offers to share her tea with the baby, but he can't eat it as he's got no teeth to chew. She then gives him her cow mug to drink from, but he's too little for a real cup and ends up soaking wet. She quickly moves on to painting, and when her brother wants to join in she lets him and he ends up covered in paint. They both wind up in a bubble bath together, which they share happily, then they cosy up in bed, laughing and having fun, until finally their mummy gets in the bed too and they share her cuddles together.

When I read this aloud for the playgroup story-time it went down very well. The pictures are lovely - simple and eye-catching, and funny too. There was a similar sense of unease amongst the mothers, however, about how badly the sharing goes initially, which was a shame as it's otherwise a fun book to read aloud, with the repetitive patterns of the mummy telling them to share. Parents and carers can always discuss any queries after reading, and perhaps stress that if a toy is very precious it's better to keep it somewhere safe rather than be forced into sharing it with irresponsible younger siblings! I liked the book anyway, and I think it works well for those just starting to learn the concept of sharing as well as older toddlers who will appreciate the humour of the little girl getting her baby brother wet and covered in paint thanks to her generous sharing!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: I find that the Lauren Child Charlie and Lola stories often raise useful life issues, including sibling relations, to discuss with toddlers in a funny way.

Buy Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Share! by Anthea Simmons and Georgie Birkett at Amazon.com.


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