Fifteen examples of animal affection, which looks not so different than the human kind.
Each two-page spread features a high-resolution photo of same-species animals, often presumably parent and child, expressing affection and a two-part text. The first part reads almost like a message in a Valentine's Day card: "I'm small and scared, but mom's kisses make me feel big and brave," says the grizzly bear cub as its mother gives it a nuzzle. This is supplemented by an interesting factlet, like the fact that a single giraffe mother takes care of a group of giraffe calves in a nursery while the other mothers forage. Koalas like to hug, one owl pecks another on the cheek, and the dolphins naturally touch snouts. There’s a fair amount of anthropomorphism on display in the primary text: cheetah cubs perk up their “sad or tired” mother by “kissing her”; a pair of rabbits “fight,” then “kiss and make up.” Though the secondary text sometimes explicates this, it is nevertheless both syrupy and misleading. The photos are bright and maximally adorable, occupying two-thirds of each spread, and the nuggets of animal fact are nice. Publishing simultaneously is the similarly themed and formatted I Love Hugs.
Unfortunately, the Hallmark sentiments in the primary text make this book feel generic and just transitorily cute. (Picture book. 2-5)