Hello, friends! Our book today is Oh What Fun It Is To Share, written by Flora Agbaje and illustrated by Kim Merritt, a tale of the importance of sharing.
Our story opens on a little boy with a rather bad habit: he absolutely refuses to share. No one is allowed to play with or touch the things he’s decided are his – toys, books, even other people! To keep everyone from his things, he hugs them tightly to himself, earning him the nickname “Hugger Boy.” One day, however, as he is sitting with his closely guarded pile of things, he realizes that the other children are happily playing together, and his refusal to share with them has left him alone. Hugger Boy decides that he wants to make a change – but can he learn to share after all this time?
This one has a great premise, and while it’s a bit rough around the edges, there was a lot of good to take away. The lesson is a classic one, and the story is well-paced. The art is surprisingly good: in an area where many self-published children’s books are lacking, this one has expressive characters, great coloring, and an appreciated amount of diversity. Text-wise, it’s difficult to find the right rhythm at times due to some shifting syntax and, in at least one case, poor layout – this can make it a little difficult to read aloud. Also, it should be noted that while it is true that selfish kids often hug their items to themselves in a refusal to share, this is also an extremely common comforting gesture for children with ASD or social delays. This could cause some confusion in young readers who may read the story, then interpret children who have behavioral issues as being selfish. However, with a bit of adult guidance, this issue can be overcome. Otherwise, the story is a good length, and JJ seemed to enjoy it. A good lesson in sharing, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the author in exchange for an honest review.)