How Do I Love Thee?
How Do I Love Thee? illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. 32p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Dec. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062394446.
PreS-Gr 2—Three friends share in wondrous moments throughout this beautifully rendered picture book adaptation of the iconic poem. The youngsters traipse through nature in its myriad seasons and partake in active and quiet times together that cement their friendship in love. They build a snowman, gaze at the sky, run through a meadow, sing, go sledding, camp, sail, and climb a tree. Exquisite mixed media artwork accompanies the verse, providing stunning views of the natural world. Neal skillfully pairs the illustrations with the text, such as presenting symbolism in the free flight of birds and kites with the emotion of love. For "I love thee in soft sunlight," the three main characters gaze up through a tree's canopy as a wash of pale yellow sunshine filters through the leaves. The ability to create this soft glow is mesmerizing and indicative of the high quality of art throughout. Based on Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Sonnet 43," Adam and Neal repurpose the conceit to explore love between friends and family. The original "Sonnet 43" is included at the end along with a very brief biography of Browning.
VERDICT An enchanting imagining of love and friendship made successful by its splendid artwork; this is a winning choice for young poets.

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