“Love is in…each small sight and sound.”
Gentle prose from veteran children’s author Jones details the many everyday moments full of love: “through summer, winter, / fall, and spring.” Written in the first person, the reassurances of love in all the little things follow a nursery rhyme–like rhythm expertly crafted to comfort little ones. There are verses devoted to smiles, hugs, bubble baths, and bedtime kisses. Spot art and full-page spreads follow a slightly anthropomorphized, giant teddy of a bear and a towheaded, light-skinned human child. The bear appears to be the child’s caretaker, and the two watch fireworks, read bedtime stories, dance, tell jokes, have tea parties and baths, and so on. The sketchy visuals err on the side of oversimplified. A scene where the two gaze at each other while the text refers to “quiet, love-filled, gentle smiles” that “mean more than words can say” leaves the characters looking more blank than loving. While nothing in the prose or the nameless characters offers anything particularly grand or memorable, this offering will make a serviceable script for real-life caretakers reading aloud to sleepy listeners; as the book makes abundantly clear—“love is in the little things,” after all.
The “I love you so much” bookshelf can never be too full. (Picture book. 1-5) —Kirkus Reviews