HOW DO I LOVE THEE? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Age Range: 5 - 8
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A beloved, oft-quoted sonnet goes fishing.

A station wagon with a rowboat secured atop sets off through the mountains and stops by a lake to disgorge a father and child, both apparently white, and their dog. They cast their lines into water filled with very colorful fish, the father shares technical advice, and the child catches a big one—after first snaring a rubber boot. This fish is released, looking very happy indeed. All this occurs to the words of Browning’s deeply nuanced verse. So as the text reads “I love thee to the depth / and breadth and height / My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight,” McDonough’s colorful but otherwise unremarkable cut-paper collage art depicts small figures against a big body of water surrounded by both jagged and rounded mountain tops. “I love thee with a love I seemed to lose / With my lost saints” is the text for the scene when the child, father, and dog happily release the fish. It is difficult if not impossible to connect the verse to the illustrated activities. A parent-and-child day together is a very wonderful thing. However, this title is likely to lead to confusion from both parents and children.

Lofty verse poorly cast. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 2nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-937359-83-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Cameron + Company
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016


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