My 4-year-old has a definite sweet tooth, and her latest sugary obsession is Pez (remember those candies that come in their own dispenser?). Because she covets her Hello Kitty Pez like it’s gold, she has a hard time sharing with her big sis (who also loves Pez, but not nearly as much). During a recent battle at the dinner table, my little one reluctantly agreed to give her sister some of her treats…but the biggest surprise came the following day when her sister graciously brought home some leftover coloring sheets for her art class. As my girls have come to learn, a kind gesture like sharing something with others–especially something you love–doesn’t go unnoticed and sometimes yields its own reward. This is the perfect lesson for a young animal in Little Raccoon Learns to Share, a delightful new picture book by Mary Packard. Looking at the cover alone, I knew there was something utterly familiar, and once we delved into the story, I realized just what it was. The adorable animal drawings by illustrator Lisa McCue were instantly recognizable, as she has illustrated many of the Corduroy stories my girls and I have read over the years . Also familiar was the story line of the title character desperate to hold on to her treasured berries, even at the expense of her friends. As she ponders what might happen if her generosity costs her more than she bargained for, I couldn’t help but smile at my own daughter’s propensity to over-think a situation (wonder where she gets that from?) and potentially miss out on the fun. Luckily, thanks to a wise suggestion from the raccoon’s mom and the acceptance of her peers, she learns as my 4-year-old did: that sharing with others makes it’s all the more likely that they will share with you. That’s a lesson learned that can last lifetime. Little Raccoon Learns to Share will be available in April.
In a Nutshell: No one ever said sharing was easy. With charming illustrations and a gentle subtext, this new children’s book helps little ones understand that giving a little can go a long way.