The Picture Book Buzz

I Love You with All My Hearts - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I imagine that many families have developed their own version of "I Love You Forever." Whether it's "I love you to the moon and back," "I love you as deep as the ocean," or something like "I love you times infinity." Especially with the younger kids, but I would imagine if you said the beginning to your teenager (or older child), they could recite the end without even thinking.


It's a familiar, comforting ritual between a parent and a child. This week's #PPBF was inspired by just such a ritual. And then expanded into a wonderful book whose gentle rhyme and colorful images will entice the youngest readers. But it's also an informational fiction that will appeal to older children as well.



I love You with All of My Hearts


Author: Lindsay Bonilla


Illustrator: Eleonora Pace


Publisher: The Creative Company (2021)


Ages: 5-7


Themes:

Love, family, humor, and animals


Synopsis:

"Animals come in many shapes and sizes-some have large ears, others have distinctive noses, and still others have far too many eyes! They express emotions in different ways, too, but one thing remains the same: love"--


Opening Lines:

I love you with all of my ears.

I love you with all of my nose.


What I Loved about this book:

I love the opening spread which begins "I love you with all of my ears" and features Eleonora Pace's stunning image of a fennec fox seemingly tucked in a cave, which is actually the giant ear of an African elephant.

Text © Lindsay Bonilla, 2021. Image © Eleonora Pace, 2021.


Lindsay Bonilla's sparse, gentle rhyming text combines with amazing, watercolor images of animals, to gently draw the reader and child through a fun collection of animals and their interesting and unique features. The animals are eclectic in their appearance, such as animals with unusual noses....

Text © Lindsay Bonilla, 2021. Image © Eleonora Pace, 2021.


or in the way they are presented...

Text © Lindsay Bonilla, 2021. Image © Eleonora Pace, 2021.


I think Eleonora was ingenious in the way she incorporated multiple animals with special features, like the joined stripes of the zebra and tiger. Adding a subtle touch of humor to this heartfelt book about a parent's love for their child.


The uniting thread - "I love you with all of my______" is a fun way to create a comforting book that will encourage snuggling and then perhaps a few questions about the animals. Fortunately, the book also includes a glossary at the end full of fascinating facts. Did you know there is a centipede that looks like a worm and has 750 legs? Observant kids (and adults) will also enjoy looking for the hearts which are woven into many of the illustrations.


Overall, this is a great book for bedtime snuggles with a wonderfully comforting and affirming final verse. And a great starting point, even if seen in some whimsical arrangements, to spark a curious kid's interest in some fun animals.


Resources:

- make a paper octopus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tok-rHI0bT8&ab_channel=FunActivitiesForKids) &/or a paper lion (https://kidscraftroom.com/paper-bag-lion-puppet-craft/).


- what is a fun phrase you or your parents say? Such as "I love you to the moon and back" or "I love you through all space and time." Can you make up a really funny one?


- do you have a favorite animal or two that might have a fun way to say I love you? Fill in this line - "I love you with all of my ______," or draw a picture about the special way your favorite animal would say I love you.


If you missed it, be sure to check out Monday's interview with Lindsay Bonilla (here).


This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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