written by Stacy McAnulty
illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Running Press Kids, December 2018
Here is a book to give to those people who immediately jump to your mind when you think of love.
Love isn’t about objects or commercial holidays or competition.
It’s about time spent together, making memories, being thoughtful, noticing the details (I saw that “bag of cheeze-it” on the refrigerator grocery list.), and understanding that love exists all around us. We only have to take notice.
Love is at once a heartening book for tough days, a joyful book for celebration days, and a book to be shared often.
The illustrator fills these pages with friendly and energetic expressions of love, neither cute nor cloying, but endearing.
We can see ourselves throughout these pages. (I appreciate the sign language for “LOVE” on the dedication page.)
The diverse cast of characters include a deployed mom, surfer dudes, beloved pets, and a father sharing the northern lights.
Love calls for bouquets of flowers, depicts a young boy bringing wildflowers to an older man who is sick in bed, “and must have the finest chocolate,” which brings a smile with its shared chocolate chip.
This is a fine choice for a loving gift, a social-emotional discussion starter, and a comforting pick-me-up when needed.
It is impossible to finish this book without tears glinting in your eyes and a renewed sense that love is our best gift from — and to — the world.