Mary Ann Hoberman's One of Each
illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Book review by Sarah Denslow
Being a better host
Mary Ann Hoberman’s One of Each is a book with a pleasant surprise – the surprise being how very much children enjoy it. I liked this book when I first picked it up, but I didn’t expect it to become such a favorite with the kids I shared it with.
One of Each is a book about the value of sharing and of friendship. Oliver Tolliver, a dog, lives by himself in a house that he likes very much. It has one of each thing in it: one chair, one bed, one cup, one plate, etc.
Oliver thinks that all this one-of-each lifestyle is just great – but he’d like to be able to show someone else how great it is.
So he asks over a cat and shows her his wonderful one-of-each house. To Oliver’s surprise, however, she is not impressed, and soon pronounces that while this might be a great house for him, it’s not a house made for having friends.
Quickly, Oliver realizes the error of his ways and goes out to buy another round of one-of-each things for his house. Now he has two of each!
He invites his cat friend back over, and finds that she is just pleased with everything. Soon he invites more friends over and learns that everything is a bit nicer when shared.
I’m not overly zealous about One of Each, but I’ve gotten so many requests to read it again and again, that I have to recommend it. Hoberman’s rhyming story is, to my ears, rather forced, but to kids, it’s silly and fun.
While One of Each does fall under the umbrella of books about sharing, it is more specifically about providing for guests and may be good book to read before a play-date; it may be obvious to adults that a friend will need a place to sit and their own things to eat and drink, but it might not be to a child who has little or no experience with having friends over.
All in all, Hoberman’s One of Each is an enjoyable book, and if your children like it as much as the ones I’ve shared it with, well worth a place on your bookshelf.
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