Loving assurance comes wrapped in holiday sentiments.
Church’s round-faced toddler will be instantly recognizable from previous titles thanks to the tiny eyes and toothless smile. Whether inside or out, both the child and a teddy-bear companion sport bright red Santa hats. The gentle, first-person text assures this winsome toddler of the narrator’s unconditional love while the text evokes both the frenetic activity of Christmas preparations and the ideals of the season. “[S]hopping and wrapping / making and baking” are balanced by “I love you because you are patient and kind, // merry and bright, // helping and giving.” Sometimes the text rhymes (“I love you with bells and wreaths, // garland and trees”), but instead of forcing consistent rhymes, Rossetti-Shustak relies on rhythm and pacing to deliver her message. Muted greens, russet reds, and tawny backgrounds scattered with stars and snowflakes give the illustrations an old-fashioned feel. The sturdy binding and padded covers will survive rough handling. There’s not a real story here; just an attitude of unmitigated acceptance. The child has light skin and a few wisps of brown hair.
Good for a holiday snuggle with a little one. (Board book. 1-3)