This review was first published in Resource Links Magazine, “Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian English and French resources for children and young adults.” It appears in volume 20.1.
Share describes a situation than most children will relate to. I have certainly heard my own mother tell this story repeatedly: the older child is asked to share, and the younger child doesn’t get the idea. The older child obligingly shares, and moves to another toy, only to have the younger child demand that as well. This is intensely frustrating for the older child (in this case bunny), and I think Sally Anne Garland has captured this frustration admirably. The young bunny wants to be just like his older cousin; once the older cousin realizes her position as mentor—or hero—her attitude changes, and what was frustrating becomes gratifying. That the young bunny in Garland’s book does actually show his affection in the end solidifies Garland’s message. In the end, Share is not so much about sharing as it is about patience, compassion, and setting a good example.
While the message is solid and effectively presented, and the illustrations delightful, Share falls short in terms of its poetry. Often, the lines do not scan; this is especially problematic when the lines also span across page breaks, the interruptions adding to the disjuncture created by the jerky rhythm. With a little more attention to the poetry, Share would be excellent; as it is, the story and message and illustrations still work together to create a pleasing, if not poetically inspired, whole.