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Homemade Love by bell hooks

Homemade Love

by bell hooks & illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0643-5
Publisher: Hyperion

There is no plot in this paean to parental unconditional love, but one isn’t needed; the bold design and bright colors infuse enough energy into the soothing message to keep readers and listeners hooked. Creatively placed, plum-colored type in a variety of sizes coupled with lively, stylized illustrations of a very-well-loved “Girlpie” and her parents convey the idea that parents love their children all the time, even when children make mistakes. Girlpie’s clothes reflect what’s going on; when she makes a mess, her blue dress is decorated with yellow sad faces. When her parents forgive her and hug her, it’s all smiley faces. When her father swings her high up in the air, her dress is adorned with clouds and planes. The brief text includes short sentences and sentence fragments, and begins with a litany of loving, homemade nicknames: “Mama calls me Girlpie. Her sweet sweet. Daddy’s honey bun chocolate dew drop.” Renowned writer and feminist theorist hooks gets Girlpie’s voice exactly right, and puts her finger on just what every child is most concerned with: will my parents love me even when I’m bad? What about when the lights go out at bedtime? The surety of her parents’ love comforts Girlpie even as she falls asleep; “Memories of arms that hold me . . . No need to fear the dark place.” This joyful, loving African-American family is a model for all families to emulate. (Picture book. 2-5)