by Matt de la Peña (Author), Loren Long (Illustrator)
A New York Times Bestseller, Love is an abstract poem of sorts; a creative exploration of a child’s learning about Love, and all the myriad things that Love can be created from. Love, the child learns, is a colour and a smell; it’s a reaction; something we bring with us. It’s a star that leaves a light long after it has burned away.
Love is a picture book for older readers. Set in an urban setting, it touches upon the love shared by families, but also communities, and the reader senses, a notion of pulling together in times of grief or hardship. It is a good touch-stone for sparking a conversation about what Love means to the child themselves, and how that Love manifests in small ways that an observant person can notice, cherish and linger upon.
by Oliver Jeffers
Lost and Found is a sweet story about a friendship between a boy and a penguin who meet by chance one day. The boy decides that the penguin needs to be returned home to Antarctica, and they set off on a journey to return him to his home.
However, on leaving his friend in Antarctica, the little boy quickly realizes that his travels were rich because the penguin was beside him. Now he has left him in Antarctica, he realizes that he might not have known the best thing for his friend after all.
What follows is one of the sweetest reunions in picture book history, and is tear-jerking for its understated innocence. Lost and Found is a wonderful story about the things that matter in love: connection, empathy, friendship, helping… and the beauty of finding someone who resonates with your soul.
by Alison McGhee (Author), Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
Another New York Times Bestseller, Someday is a lovely sentimental look at the love of a parent for their child as the child grows. Its pages traverse a lifetime, where a parent watches and loves their child as he or she grows from a baby to a child; from a child to an adult; and even into old age, that child always sensing the love of the parent reading, which exists over space and time, and lives eternally in memories.
Someday is a real tear-jerker. It is told poetically, with beautiful resonance, and allows a parent to feel the strength of the deep emotions that being a parent can evoke. As for a child, while they may be unaware, to the same degree, of the profoundness of the story before going through the path themselves, it remains a beautifully touching and special story with much beauty with which to create reading memories.
I’d Know You Anywhere My Love is a sweet and playful story that allows a parent and child to imagine the child being all sorts of animals – a raccoon, a horse, a bear… and always knowing that beneath the disguise, their loved little one was instantly recognizable simply for being them.
The story is a fun and light-hearted way for parents to play with their children, emphasizing their uniqueness and special ‘them-ness’ that only a parent would know. There are also prompts in the text for children to take an interactive role, making animal sounds, which then allow a parent to say ‘see, from the way you roar, I knew it was you!’ It’s a lovely way for a parent to reinforce their delight in a child’s own personality, and for the child, in turn, to expand in the confidence of that unwavering love.