Lyrics inspired by an exchange with Marley’s 3-year-old daughter are set to bright paintings of a multicultural cast of children and adults enjoying each other’s company indoors and out.
The Emmy-winning song is already available on recordings and as an app, and it’s better suited to those formats. Here, without the music, the experience is primarily visual, since the lyrics are largely repetitions of the chorus—“I love you, I love you too. / I tell you, I love you”—interspersed with variations on “Like the fish loves the sea. // Like the honey and the bee” or “When you smile, I’ll smile along. / When you cry, my comfort comes.” Reflecting both the imagery and the warm intimacy of adjacent lines, three children and their parents (babies, grandparents and others put in cameos) in various combinations play together, sit at meals, observe birds and smiling worms, decorate a holiday tree or simply embrace lovingly in Jatkowska’s illustrations. A note on Marley’s charitable organization, Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment, follows the text.
The art will draw and hold young children’s attention, but the words hang together better when sung rather than spoken. (Picture book. 3-6)