When our review copy of Mine! arrived and I read the accompanying press release I found myself tutting a bit. Not a nice habit, but I was a bit concerned about the statement "Mine! is a hilariously true book about how little girls play." I'm sorry to say that in my usual way I was a bit frustrated to see what I initially saw as early gender stereotyping. As Little Miss C and I sat down to read the book together though I actually found myself reading something which almost accurately described a playdate that LMC has had just a couple of days earlier!
Kitty is playing quite happily in her bedroom on her own, making a cafe for all her toys, in a very similar way to how LMC cooks all her toys lunch on a regular basis. Then her friend Lea comes to play and everything is thrown into chaos as Lea doesn't understand how to play cafes. Kitty understandably gets frustrated and upset and takes all the parts that made up her cafe and goes to hide in her tent. She soon realises that playing with Lea would actually be fun and she's invited to join her in the tent where the girls instead decide to have an indoor picnic.
Mine! is actually an incredibly accurate book about how children play – initially alone and then together, learning to share. Yes, the characters in the book are girls, but I actually think it's an accurate portrayal of boys as well as girls. It led to LMC and I talking about why sometimes it is nice to play alone, whilst at other times it is equally good to have friends to play with and to share your toys with them.
There was only one bit of the book that left LMC a bit puzzled and it just goes to show what an attention to detail she has. When Kitty first goes into her tent we are told "Inside the tent, it is dark". Fair enough. But then when Kitty and Lea are together inside the tent having a picnic LMC was completely confused as to how they could when it was dark inside the tent. She searched the pictures of them having a picnic for ages to try to work out if they'd turned a light on inside the tent or not. My explanation of their eyes just getting used to the dark sadly didn't pass muster and she went off mumbling about how you can't have picnics in the dark. Luckily she seemed to have forgotten about this by the time we next read the book, but she did have a good point!
Disclaimer: As part of the Parragon Book Buddy scheme we were sent a copy of Mine! for the purposes of this review.