Book Review: A Few Good Ones On Sharing

Martha Doesn't Share!
Author: Samantha Berger
illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: Martha has a new favorite word. And that word is Mine! Martha's sharing skills need some work. She's not very good at taking turns either. But when Martha realizes that keeping her toys all to herself means having to play all by herself, too, she decides to give sharing a try - one (small) toy at a time. In this follow-up to Martha Doesn't Say Sorry!, our unforgettable otter learns that when it comes to sharing, practice makes (almost) perfect. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Martha Doesn't Say Sorry! has made many rounds to K-1 classes. So the students are very familiar with this little otter (who can be a total stinker). This is a classic story of the consequences of not one wants to be around you, give you attention, or play with you. Martha experiences this and she gets to thinking....oh oh, time to change my ways! A page I enjoy reading is when Martha has her a ha moment, "Martha thinks about sharing. She thinks and thinks and thinks about it. Then she thinks about it some more." Ahh, perfect stopping point for discussion about that lovely little word "think."

The last illustration gets me giddy. It might look like a cutsie ending but good discussion awaits. The picture shows Martha sharing with her baby brother. 

Here's the deal though....she's only sharing a few blocks. Yo, it's not sharing when you give someone three items and you have fifty. A kindergarten teacher listening in interrupted our lesson and we had a talk about this last illustration. (great time to role play this with those problem toys) This is a sharing behavior that's been going on in her class. Some of the kids had that 'oh oh' look on their face but they were able to receive and understand it's perceived as unkind when you do this. LOVE IT. Now all I need is a Martha otter puppet and I'm set!

Eleanore Won't Share
Author: Julie Gassman
illustrated by Jessica Mikhail
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

About This Book: Eleanore does not like to share and soon learns a valuable life lesson about sharing and friendships.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Whoa. Eleanore and Martha must be related! Eleanore definitely does not like to share and she even has her own set of rules about sharing:

1. Always share things you don't like.
2. Always share things that belong to other people.
3. Always share when it make things more fun...for you!

So the story continues with Eleanore hoarding away while making others feel bad. But soon enough she feels those social consequences that come with unkind behavior. "The other kids were NOT happy about it. Soon, they stopped playing with the dress-up clothes - and with Eleanore."

When she tries to join in a game the kids assertively let her know she will not be included unless she changes her ways. Taking a little think time, Eleanore rights the wrong and says, "From now on I will try to share - even when I don't want to." In the end, she shares a hug with her teacher. Ahh...adorable. Make sure to create a new and improved list of sharing rules for Eleanore with the help of students. Hint: don't do a boring 1 2 3 list. I traced a picture of Eleanore on a huge piece of construction paper to make our list more engaging.

Author: Annabelle Dixon
illustrated by Tim Archbold
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

About This Book: Joe has a shiny red car. Charlie hides it, Ben finds it, but whom will Joe choose to share it with?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I own this whole series on making good choices. What I love about them is how they end - no perfect ending. A book requiring kids to fill in the holes and do some thinking. Yippee! But don't worry, a helpful parent/teacher guide will give you thoughtful questions to ask the kids if you need some help. 

The story is centered around Joe's car. Charlie decides to hide it because Joe won't let him have a turn with it. An all familiar story I've seen happen with kids. It's discovered by Ben who makes a decision to lie and say it's his own. Whoo! All kinds of poor choices going on in this one. This is a great story to not just talk about sharing but also friendship and honesty. Enjoy!

A Link to These Books:


  1. Just what I need at the moment at home with my own kids-- sharing and saying sorry. Then I can use them at school in groups and classes. Awesome!