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WHAT IS LOVE

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 2 weeks, 3 days ago

10 July 2021 WHAT IS LOVE? by Mac Barnett and Carson Ellis, ill., Chronicle, October 2021, 44p., ISBN: 978-1-4521-7640-6

 

“If I fell in love with you

Would you promise to be true

And help me understand?

‘Cuz I’ve been in love before

And I’ve found that love is more

Than just holding hands.”

-- Lennon/McCartney (1964)

 

“The farmer told me love is a seed.

This soldier told me love is a blade.

That soldier told me love is a horse.

But the cart driver said, ‘No, it’s a donkey.’

 

A sports car, a donut, a lizard, a ring

The first snow of winter, a maple in summer.

A grizzly bear, this pebble right here--

these are all things people told me love is.”

 

As a child, I learned about love from watching how my grandfather opened the door to his ‘61 Bonneville for my grandmother. I learned about it from Lennon and McCartney, Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews, and Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider.

 

I’m still learning.

 

The narrator of WHAT IS LOVE? asks his grandmother, “What is love?” His grandma picks him up in her arms, tells him that she cannot answer that, and sends him out into the world to search for the answer. After journeying and seeing how others view love as that to which they are connected and care about, the narrator returns home, picks his grandmother up in his arms, and lets her know that he has found his answer.

 

Carson Ellis employs gouache on watercolor paper to create fanciful illustrations that feature the delightfully zany cast of humans, animals, and inanimate objects that assist the narrator in his quest for the answer. 

 

Preschoolers will be captivated by the whimsical adventure, while older children will also appreciate the philosophical nature of the tale. It will readily lend itself to contemplation, discussion, and written reactions. 

 

Mac Barnett hits the sweet spot between fun and thoughtful. I love it!

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

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