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“And it’s love in each deep creases of your grandfather’s face as he lowers himself onto an overturned bucket to fish.” –Love
by Matt De La Peña
AR Test, Picture Book
4 - 8
Love is the melody that follows us through each and every day of our lives. Whether it’s the sound of our parent’s voices lulling us to sleep, the joyful laughter of an uncle’s latest tall tale, or the warm embrace of a loved one telling us everything will be okay, it’s a feeling that takes countless forms and ultimately connects us all.
Love is a lyrical poem that illustrates the different ways love manifests itself. Sometimes love “is the smell of crashing waves, and a train whistling blindly in the distance, and each night the sky above your trailer turns the color of love.” The poem gives both positive experiences and negative experiences where people express love. “But it’s not only stars that flame out, you discover. It’s summers, too. And friendships. And people.”
Each page is beautifully illustrated in bright colors. The illustrations show people of different ethnicities and ages, a child in a wheelchair, and a Muslim girl. Each illustration portrays people showing their love to others, including a parent’s love for a child or “a quiet old lady” who helps when a fire breaks out.
Even though Love is a picture book, the story is intended to be read aloud to a child, rather than for a child to read it for the first time independently. The poem uses easy vocabulary and each page has 2-8 lines of text. Even though younger readers will not make all the connections between the illustrations and the words, they will recognize the importance of love and how love comforts each of us. Readers who enjoyed Love, should also try I Am Enough by Grace Byers which also shows the importance of supporting each other.
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