Martha Doesn't Share, by Samantha Berger & Bruce Whatley

Martha has learnt a new word and is using it quite a lot. The word is ‘MINE!’ and she’s applying it to everything around her. Her parents and little brother would quite like her to share, but Martha’s having none of it. Until she discovers that having everything isn’t quite all it’s cracked up to be. This is a landscape-format paperback with a mauve and pink cover. Martha and her family are soft anthropomorphised otters. Endpapers show Martha at her non-sharing best. Illustrations depict Martha and her family in soft pastels and include large areas of white space. This is an international edition of the original US edition.

Martha’s parents try all sorts of ways to introduce the concept of sharing to this strong-willed child but with little success. Indeed they almost quake in the force of her ownership bids. They withdraw then and leave Martha with all her things. But Martha discovers this isn’t what she wanted after all. Martha Doesn’t Share sends a very clear message about the value of sharing. But never fear that Martha is completely reformed by her discovery of the up-side of sharing. The final opening shows Martha is still fairly sure that she owns most of the world. Recommended for preschool age children.

Martha Doesn’t Share, Samantha Berger & Bruce Whatley
Hachette 2010
ISBN: 9780316126359

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author