Sharing the love with young readers
Children’s book authors have long relied on color and sweet words to teach young readers about love.
One of the noted ones is Bell Hooks’ “Homemade Love,” an ode to parental love, even when children misbehave. The 2002 picture book by the renowned writer and feminist captures love in all of its many colors and flavors.
“My mama calls me girlpie … Daddy’s honey bun chocolate dew drop,” as the young girl tells her story of how she breaks a dish, yet her parents forgive her.
“Everything I do cannot be right. ’Cause there is no all the time right,” Hooks writes.
With Valentine’s Day on Thursday, here are a few other picture books about love:
By Bell Hook and illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, $16.99, 32 pages Ages 4-8
By Corinna Luyken Penguin Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages
Ages 4-8 Author and illustrator Corinna Luyken approaches love with a sensitivity to how the heart can open one day and close the next. It’s a pure and sweet way to teach young readers about their own feelings: “My heart is a shadow, a light, and a guide. … Closed or open … I get to decide.” Also, Luyken’s charcoal-yellow illustrations add to the beauty of this thoughtful picture book.
“I’ll Love You Till the Cows Come Home”
By Kathryn Cristaldi and illustrator Kristyna Litten Harper Collins, $17.99, 32 pages Ages 4-8 Here’s another great bedtime book about the love of a parent for a child, or cow or bird or ant. It’s a rhyming story about how big the feeling of love can be: “I will love you till the ants march in … wearing tiny ant hats and tiny ant grins.” Kristyna Litten’s soft, delicate illustrations are the perfect accent.
From “How Do I Love Thee” by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal.