“That’s mine!” he says.
But the snake wants his egg, and so does the eagle, and so does the lizard…But what does the angry elephant want?
That’s Mine! by Michel Van Zeveren is a gem of a picture book that’s simple, yet surprising. You start off thinking you know where the story is going, but it veers off in a completely different direction (these are the best sorts of stories). The illustrations are bold and I love the expressions on the animals faces, especially right at the end.
The thing I like most about this book though is the text and the design. As each of the animals appears the sound they make turns into a word, like the eagle who flies in saying “Ack…ack…ack..actually it’s mine.” Children can follow the direction that each animal appears from by following the direction of the words (the hsss of the snake drops down from the top to the bottom of the page). I love the way that the text changes size depending on how loud the animal is talking and in relation to their size. On a page featuring all the animals, the text is largest for the elephant and smallest for the frog, so it’s clear that each of the animals has a different voice.
That’s Mine! is the perfect picture book for reading aloud. You can do different voices for all the animals and make it really silly. It could even be acted out in the classroom, with each child being a different animal.
4 out of 5 stars