Having recently had a Cornish holiday during which large eager seagulls were very keen to share our lunch pasties, bright bold picture book ‘All Mine!’ caught my eye.
I think this is a wonderful book. The story is short and simple, but the pictures fizz with characterful energy, movement and humour.
Mouse is about to tuck into his sandwich lunch when – woosh! – the greedy seagull swoops down to steal it and claim that it’s ‘All mine!’ Seagull gets ticked off by mouse who tells him that it’s rude to snatch. We then get a wonderful comic- strip episode of the mouse trying to find more lunch, but stalked by the ‘gull who steals it all, even when he’s clearly told that if only he was polite Mouse would share with him. Seagull doesn’t learn from being told. It’s only a good scare that finally sees him off … leaving Mouse to share his huge cake with his politer, mousey, friends.
This is a story about learning to share; something very pertinent to young children, but served-up in a way that is anything but preachy. They will recognise the truths in the story, and come to their own conclusions about any rights and wrongs it shows.
So, this is a fun picture book for all, particularly for summertime. But it also offers an opportunity for teachers or parents to discuss issues of sharing and bullying with children, and demonstrates interesting and easily doable ways to combine media to make your own pictures. I now want to get some thick poster paint to ‘ice’ a photograph of a cake, and sprinkle hundreds and thousands to stick into that paint icing! Maybe make my own simple shape-on-a-stick fox mask too? Come to think of it, I could see this making a relatively simple, funny and telling little play for any primary school class tasked with putting on an assembly soon after the summer holidays.
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