That's (Not) Mine

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
That's (Not) Mine Book Poster Image
Funny twist on sharing (or not) is great for little kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Simple words fun for beginning readers; offers perfect opportunity for talking about what makes something "mine" and the value of sharing.

Positive Messages

Playing with friends is more fun than pestering them and fighting over what's yours and what's not.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both characters are willing to fight over the chair, trick each other out of it, but in the end they realize that playing together is more fun than fighting.

Violence & Scariness

The characters try to push each other out of the chair and knock it over. 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that That's (Not) Mine is the second (Not) book by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant. The first, You Are (Not) Small, was named an ALA Notable Book and won the Theoddor Seuss Geisel Award in 2015. This one features the same two furry characters who are learning about (not) sharing. It's lighthearted and fun, especially for young kids and beginning readers.

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What's the story?

One comfy chair and two furry characters who have not yet learned to share spells trouble -- and chaos. Does the chair belong only to the one currently sitting in it, or does it belong to the other one who had it first? After a little trickery, some pushing and shoving, and a lot of yelling, the two creatures realize the silliness of their stubbornness; they apologize and find a better way to spend their time. 

Is it any good?

Large, bright, expressive illustrations and simple text make this fun, silly story the perfect book for a kid just learning about sharing with friends and siblings. The characters are fuzzy and cuddly, the colors bright, and the presentation energetic. Anna Kang and her illustrator husband Christopher Weyant have come up with a clever twist with their (Not) stories that gives a fresh look to very basic problems kids encounter. Young kids and beginner readers especially will enjoy this story's humor and energy. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sharing. How do you decide what is "mine" and what is "yours," and how do you figure out how to share something when there's only one, such as one chair? 

  • How do the characters change as they get madder and madder? How do the words and the type change? What other feelings do the fuzzy creatures show besides anger? 

  • How do the fuzzy creatures try to outsmart each other? What do they finally decide to do? What are some other things they might have tried? 

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