What's Mine Is MINE!: You Are Not My Friend, But I Miss You! by Daniel Kirk
YOU TOOK MY BALL.
Okay. Let's stipulate that IT IS Sock Monkey's big red ball. Patchwork Dog has clearly snatched it and run away gleefully, with a quick explanation.
YOU WOULDN'T SHARE!
I HAD TO GRAB IT BACK WHILE YOU WEREN'T LOOKING.
Sock Monkey's cause is righteous. Dog is clearly not his friend, so he is NOT going to get to play with the red ball ever again!
Monkey looks around for new playmates who will share according to his rules.
He finds three--a potted plant, a rock, and a worm. But although they never snatch the red ball, they are not much fun either.
He resolves to play by himself. He tosses the ball up and catches it. Bo-ring! He recruits a wall and tries bouncing the ball against it. The wall definitely gives it right back every time.
This is not working out. Sock Monkey has the red ball all to himself, but what he DOESN'T have is FUN. Maybe he's not being a good friend. A good friend would share--share the ball AND share the fun. That thought reminds Sock Monkey of something Dog said.
MAYBE I WASN'T A GREAT FRIEND.
He looks around for Dog.
Preschoolers ethics are famously both egocentric and dogmatic, as Daniel Kirk's You Are Not My Friend, But I Miss You (Abrams Books, 2014) shows in this terrifically illustrated simple parable about empathy. Sock Monkey insists that his red ball is absolutely his to do with as he pleases, but he quickly learns that it takes two to play ball! It's a piquant little parable that has tremendous meaning for all of life, and the notable author-illustrator Daniel Kirk captures it all in a simple story with two toys standing in for youngsters in a humorous piece of vicarious experience on what it means to be a friend.
Daniel Kirk is also the author-illustrator of the popular Library Mouse series, Honk Honk! Beep Beep! and Ten Things I Love About You.