Mine! Mine! Mine! is a children’s story by Shelly Becker about a girl named Gail who doesn’t like to share. The illustrations by Hideko Takahashi are bright and have soft lines too, which makes it visually appealing. The story fits well with our monthly theme of childcare because it follows Gail as she learns how to share with her cousin Claire. Learning to share doesn’t come easy for Gail. When Claire starts playing with Gail’s teddy bear and tea set, Gail gets angry and takes the toys away. When Gail’s mom explains to Gail the importance of sharing toys with others, the story takes a funny turn as Gail decides to share old, dirty things she doesn’t care about. Gail’s mom notices this sneaky move and teaches Gail that to become a “pro” at sharing, you have to share some things you hold dearly.
How can parents use this book?
This book is a pretty easy read and has a nice rhyming structure, so kids aged 3-6 should find it fun and likable. Parents could try acting the story out in their own homes, for example by identifying some things their child is attached to, like a special blanket or a favourite stuffed animal, and trying to get the child to share those things with you or a friend for a few minutes. If that works, next time they could try sharing for 10 or 15 minutes, and/or with different toys to see how it feels to let others have fun with their toys, too.
Since the moral or lesson of Mine! Mine! Mine! is all about the process of learning to share with others, the story is a great opportunity for parents to introduce this idea to their kids. Don’t worry if your child resists sharing at first, it’s completely normal for young kids to want to hold on to the things they feel a special attachment to. You can help “shape” the sharing you want to see gradually over time by doing it in small steps or short time periods and building slowly. Just like building empathy, describing your feelings, and so on, learning to share takes time for kids, so do your best to see it as a gradual process rather than a switch you can turn on or off. Hopefully these tips will be of some help!