Holding On! It's Mine! by Tracey Corderoy
LULU HAD COME OVER TO PLAY WITH BABY BEAR.
"I'M PLAYING TIGER WITH RORY," SAID BABY BEAR.
"I LOVE TIGERS!" CRIED LULU.
A friend of my friend is my friend, right?
Baby Bear's fuzzy orange tiger toy is his best friend, Lulu approves of his choice, and for a while all goes well with the playdate. But when Baby Bear gets rumbly in his tumbly and goes to fetch some goodies, things take a turn for the worst when he comes back with a snack:
LULU WAS PLAYING WITH RORY!
BABY BEAR GRABBED RORY'S LEG. LULU HELD ON TIGHT!
Suddenly the playdate isn't working out so well! Lulu is in tears, and when Mom tells Baby Bear to share, he tries to placate Lulu with a zebra toy. It's got stripes, too, right?
But Lulu is having none of that. It's Rory or nothing.
So Mom steps in, takes charge of Rory for the moment and suggests a diverting trip to the park.
Grudgingly the two tots set off, but the playground is enticing. Studiously avoiding each other, Lulu tries playing solo on the see-saw, and Baby Bear sits down on the swing. Neither one of them seem to be going anywhere with their plans. See-saws that don't go up and down by themselves, and swings that don't swing are NO FUN! Lulu needs a partner, and Baby Bear needs a push! Hmmm!
Luckily, Mom knows how to facilitate a quiet compromise in Tracey Corderoy's It's Mine! (Good Books, 2012). Artist Caroline Pedler's sweetly rounded little bears are beguiling, and the use of bright orange flocking on her illustrations of Rory Tiger make the little bears' rivalry for the fuzzy toy totally understandable. Sharing a beloved toy is hard (think having a friend over who demands to take your brand-new car out for a solo joyride!), and learning to share fairly is a big step in the preschool years. Pair this one with Anna Dewdney's latest best-selling Llama story, Llama Llama Time to Share (see my review here), which covers the same premise, managing to offer quite a bit of character development while sticking to a demanding but appealing rhyme that makes this life lesson go down sweetly.