I Heart You

illus. by Sarah Jane Wright. 40p. ebook available. S. & S./Beach Lane. Dec. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442488953.
Toddler-PreS—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. This pattern is mostly effective, but it does make for a few awkward phrases. The mama duck, for example, says, "I swim you./I hop you./I start you./I stop you." However, 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.

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