Henry in Love by Peter McCarty
How do you create a great romantic picture book? Well, first it must include fresh-baked blueberry muffins.
Henry woke up to the smell of muffins baking and was given one to take to school for snack. Henry thought Chloe was the loveliest girl in his class. Whenever he looked at her the wind started to blow and he saw poppies, flowers and grass. At recess, Henry decided to go up to Chloe even though his friends thought it was a bad idea to talk to a girl. After Henry demonstrated his best somersault, Chloe showed him her perfect cartwheel. Then a game of tag started and Henry chased after Chloe. Back in class, the teacher rearranged their desks and guess who Henry got to sit right next to? Just in time to share his blueberry muffin. Now that’s true romance!
A large part of the reason this book is so successful is the art. As you can see from the cover it is done in inks with touches of watercolor. Color is used subtly here to great effect. Even the slightest color is magnified by the bare backgrounds. The result is a book that is modern and charming. McCarty includes small moments in the book that really make it a treat. It made the book difficult to summarize because it is the collection of the small moments of Henry’s day that make this book such a delight. Just as with color, words are used sparingly and offer just the right amount of story to carry the book forward.
A very sweet, honesty picture book, this story captures childhood crushes with dignity and appeal. Appropriate for ages 4-7.
Reviewed from library copy.