Review: How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams

how do i love thee by jennifer adams

How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal (9780062394446)

Based on the famous poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, this picture book takes the iconic first lines of that poem and creates something new. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways…” The book shows three friends experiencing each of the ways that love can feel. It can be deep as the ocean, soft like sunlight. It can be quiet or loud, daylight or night time. It can happen in all of the seasons or any time of day.

The text here has a rich echo of the poem it is inspired by, “Sonnet 43.” That poem is also shared at the end of the book, so young readers can hear the original in all of its beauty. This look at love is rich and varied, showing that love can be between friends or family and doesn’t have to be romantic. The illustrations are filled with whimsy, moving from bright light to deep night. The friends in them play together merrily, connect quietly and simply enjoy time with one another.

A lovely book of love. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

Review: I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi

i'll love you till the cows come home by kathryn cristaldi

I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi, illustrated by Kristyna Litten (9780062574206)

Take a jaunty trip with this picture book that looks at all sorts of animals and vehicles going on grand journeys. The book begins with cows heading to the moon in a rocket ship with the promise that “I will love you till the cows come home.” Then the verse moves on to yaks who eat grass and then take off in a fire truck. The refrain changes to match the yaks and work with the rhyme. The book progresses to sheep setting sail, wolves returning, frogs riding past, deer dancing, geese flapping down, and ants marching in. Until finally, all of the animals end up fast asleep on the final pages, exhausted from their adventures.

What could have been a saccharine rhyming tale turns out to be an active picture book filled with plenty of giggles, lots of animals and all sorts of vehicles. The rhymes are jaunty and fun without being sing-songy. The message of love is present in each of the stories but doesn’t overwhelm the dynamic fun happening on the page.

The illustrations are friendly with animals that smile and often look directly out at the reader. They are also filled with action and activity, with leaping frogs, flying geese, zooming rockets, racing trucks and much more.

A fast-moving and funny picture book. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.