Friday, June 21, 2019

Review - Mine. Yours.

Mine. Yours.
by Marsha Diane Arnold
illustrated by Qin Leng
Date: 2019
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A sweet and funny story about sharing, friendship and belonging.

When Little Panda startles Big Panda awake inside his den, Big Panda crankily declares, “Mine.” Then he puts Little Panda outside, “Yours.” When he still won’t leave, Big Panda offers Little Panda a kite. Which delights him! Until the kite’s tail starts annoying the other animals in the forest by sweeping up their things. They all give him the same message: their things, “Mine;” the kite, “Yours.” And soon the animals themselves get caught as they try to reclaim their stuff. Can they all learn a new word — “Ours”?

No “mine” allowed! This story’s too fun not to share!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Mine. Yours. features a bunch of cranky Asian critters who have no patience and have never learned to share. When Little Panda is given a kite by Big Panda (presumably to get the kid out of his hair), the little one goes and tries to fly it. But he ends up disturbing all the other creatures in the forest, wrecking their games, knocking them off their perches, and just being a general nuisance. Little Panda doesn't really mean any harm, but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise by the way he's treated. Every encounter results in two words: "Mine," referring to whatever it is that Little Panda has just disturbed, and "Yours," referring to the kite. In other words, "Take your kite and go away, you annoying kid!" It isn't until all the creatures end up inexplicably clinging to the kite string that they all decide to be friends. Because... I don't even know. That part of the story doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

The illustrations are cute, and I love how all the animals depicted are from Asia (they're named on the copyright page at the beginning). The weakness of this book is the story, though, and the message. I'm not even sure what that message is supposed to be. The characters all seem to have learned something, but I'm confused as to how they got there.

So this is kind of a mixed bag for me. If the overall message had been a little clearer, and the change of heart made a little more sense, I think I would feel more favourable to it overall.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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