This tender, rhyming picture book is a lively celebration of love.
Little ones adore being independent and trying new things. But they also need Mom and Dad’s reassurance and snuggles. With her spare, lyrical text, debut author Meg Fleming captures the exuberance, the affection, and the tender push-and-pull of life with a child. And illustrator Sarah Jane Wright’s evocative illustrations infuse the story with generous helpings of warmth and love.
Meg Fleming is the author of I Heart You; Ready, Set, Build!; Sometimes Rain; and other books for children. Also a voice teacher, Meg draws on her love of rhythm, rhyme, and lyricism to create and imagine stories. She lives outside of San Francisco with her husband and three kids. Visit her at MegFleming.net.
Sarah Jane Wright has been illustrating the world around for as long as she can remember. She is the artist behind Sarah Jane Studios, which has a huge following on Pinterest and is a thriving business on Etsy, selling prints, wallpaper, etc. She also illustrated The Secrets of Eastcliff-by-the-Sea. Sarah Jane loves being a mom to her four small children and currently resides in Utah.
Adult animals describe how they show their love for their little ones.From hugging and kissing to singing and snuggling, these are activities that will be familiar to most children, albeit ones that most animals do not engage in. Adorable animals in pastel-colored pencil-and-gouache pictures act out their love for one another. Though gently anthropomorphized in behavior, these animals are otherwise depicted realistically, unclothed and in nature. "I hide you. / I tease you. // I find you. / I squeeze you," is depicted with adult-child foxes playing hide-and-seek. Though not all the "verbs" are action words per se, children will have no trouble understanding when the picture shows an adult bear running after a cub, then that same duo hugging in the grass while the text reads "I chase you. / I slow you." A turn of the page shows the cub on the grown bear's back reaching for apples in a tree: "I lift you. / I grow you." Not all are as easy as this, though, as with the two swallows that "sway" and "swing" while flying. The final spreads go from a fawn's shy meeting with a young child in a blue dress to that child and an adult woman holding and loving each other. Both have brown hair and are white. The love is palpable in these pages, and adults and children will surely talk about their own ways of loving after sharing this. (Picture book. 3-6)
– Kirkus Reviews, 10/1/16
A sweet affirmation of a parent’s love for a child. Starting with rabbits on the edge of a forest near a garden, readers follow several animal parents and their young through the forest. Eventually, the book comes back to the garden, where a mother and child have been working all day. The soft pencil and gouache illustrations show adorable animals playing gently. Each animal gets a quartet of three-word sentences echoing messages of love....since this title would work well for one-on-one lap reading, it may be a nice way to encourage parents and children to come up with their own three-word phrases to describe their feelings. VERDICT A wonderful choice that will be most appreciated by those looking for a tender family read.
– School library Journal, November 2016
Fleming coaxes remarkable emotion out of three-word sentences in a lovely debut, constructing poetic mini-narratives involving parent-child pairs. Most of those pairs are animals: the first pages show a young rabbit racing back to the family den with a stolen carrot for a tender reunion ("I see you./ I miss you./ I hug you./ I kiss you"). A few pages later, two bears tussle before the older one serves as an ad hoc stepladder so its child can pick an apple from a tree ("I chase you./ I slow you./ I lift you./ I grow you"). Working in pencil and gouache, Wright (A Christmas Goodnight) creates an enchanting rural landscape, concluding with gentle scenes of a mother and daughter watching fireflies fill the air. Up to age 8.
– Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*, October 31, 2016