SOME STUFF by Elizabeth Ring
Illustrated by Anne Canevari Green
The Millbrook Press Inc 1995
Age range 3-7
“Some Stuff” by Elizabeth Ring is the story of Lenore, a girl with lots of toys but no one to play with. She meets a new boy, Jerome, from next door and in her excitement overwhelms him. She thrusts toys at him until he is literally buried beneath them. The budding new friendship is almost lost but, just in the nick of time, Lenore remembers to ask her new friend for his opinion on what would be fun and suggests that they just go outside and play in the sun.
This is essentially a short social story about how to share, not only toys, but ideas. It also addresses the need to make space for another person. The book is a monologue, in Lenore’s voice, and the syncopated rhyming structure makes for a comic and pacy read.
The two characters in the book are Caucasian, primary school aged children, and the setting is a middle-class leafy neighbourhood and suburban house. The illustrations by Anne Canevari Green are richly detailed coloured pencil drawings, with a cartoon like quality to the figures. There is a focus on facial expressions such as worry, boredom, anger, happiness and sadness. These could be great talking points for parents and their children as they follow the progress of the friendship in the book.