After tackling Beautiful (2016) and Brave (2017), McAnulty and Lew-Vriethoff present readers with all things love.
Though some may disagree with the precise things McAnulty says go with love (“Love needs special presents. // And designer greeting cards”), none can argue with the sentiment, as even those lines are illustrated sweetly. Presents include a flower wreath for a hairless child in a hospital bed, a book shared from a child’s overflowing wagon, cookies offered to an elderly woman, a picture for a teacher, and illustrating the “designer greeting card” is a child laboring over some artwork. Indeed, the message that comes through loudest of all is that love is simple and can be symbolized by the smallest things: a bouquet of wildflowers, a single chocolate chip, a message drawn in the sand or on a cast or on a frosty window. Best of all, love is time spent with those you love, whether they be friends, community members, family, or pets. Lew-Vriethoff excels with an effortless-seeming portrayal of diversity in her colorful illustrations. The characters have skin of every shade, there are people in wheelchairs and wearing glasses, and readers can spy both interracial families and ethnic, cultural, and religious markers.
Perfect for balancing the commercialism of Valentine’s Day. (Picture book. 3-8)