So many books. So little time.
A universal story of love and learning with a small cast of characters and a big message. Dale is a very mean little boy. 'Contention,' says Nanny. Dale does not understand the word and does not care.
The only thing that he cares for is the mango tree that his father had planted for him "from a seedling when he was born". He is very, very proud of the three mangoes on the tree. On HIS tree. Kim Robinson the author/illustrator creates a story of a lonely little boy seeking attention the only way he knows how, and makes the mango tree the pivot to turn the story around. Nanny advocates punishment for his meanness. Mummy disagrees. Very gently she demonstrates to Dale the consequences of his action.
His prized mangoes disappear. "That's what happens to naughty little boys like you, Dale. If they’re not nice to other people, then things that aren’t nice happen to them," Mummy says. "On the other hand if they are really and truly sorry they were naughty, and they aren't naughty again, sometimes nice things may happen."
That achieves what all Nanny's scolding and spanking could not. Dale is mean no more.
Skillful word choice, brightly colored pictures, a most satisfying ending. This is a book that belongs in every library.