Love Is a Story

Union Square Kids. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781454944188.
PreS-Gr 2–Love between adults and their children is celebrated in this joyful rhyming book. The text follows a diverse cast of characters throughout the four seasons, while the simple repetitive use of the phrase “love is…” presents love as tangible objects (such as a sand castle, a pillow, a cup of cocoa) and intangible ones (including a morning, a hug, a smile). Playful illustrations of all kinds of families—moms and dads, single parents, two dads, two grandparents—also cover a wide spectrum of skin tones and ethnicities, while details such as one mother shown in a hijab, a child in sunglasses holding the harness of a guide dog, and families with mixed race parents or children add to the universal appeal of the story. One small detail—a child shown in a Santa hat in a winter scene—seems a bit specific in the otherwise generalist, all-inclusive story, which is otherwise sensitive to so many different kinds of family groups. In the final spread, most of the characters are gathered together in one big picnic, and the final line, “…the best part of love it is true/ If you give away all the love in your heart, even more love will come back to you” is a lovely coda to a sweet story.
VERDICT A delightful celebration of family love that will resonate with children and parents alike.

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