Reviews for Love

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Newbery Award-winning de la Peña offers a lyrical ode to love in this stirring picture book. It opens with the loving coos of parents, gazing at their new baby, but the subsequent places where love can be found are less obvious: love emerges in the smell of crashing waves; the rustling leaves of a gnarled tree; in the made-up stories your uncles tell; and the face staring back in the bathroom mirror. In de la Peña's lines, love becomes not just an emotion between people but a feeling suffusing the world. It's not all sunshine, though; he also explores scary moments, when love seems to be missing, but even those can be mitigated by yet more love. In another's hands, this might seem saccharine, but here it's powerful, particularly when paired with deeply expressive, snapshot-like illustrations of people in a broad range of body types and skin tones. Though some of the individual lines might be confounding, the overall sense of comfort and hopefulness they elicit is deeply felt and genuinely uplifting. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Long and De la Peña are each powerhouses on their own. Together, they'll be unstoppable.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2017 Booklist


School Library Journal
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Gr 2-5-How do we love and care for one another? Award-winning author de la Peña sets out not only to count the ways but also to help young people recognize and take these tender mercies to heart, especially when times are tough and beyond the control of the adults around them. He defines love in multiple sensory images, brilliantly interpreted and expanded upon in evocative mixed media paintings. Long's use of light and shadow are particularly effective, with love seeming to illuminate and embrace the diverse cast of characters. The spare lyrical text describes the music of parents' voices at the foot of the bed, the colors of the night sky above a family's trailer, or the echo of laughter as kids run through summer sprinklers as just a few of the brighter examples. Yet, small kindnesses can come when least expected, on the streets as fire alarms blare or when trusted adults behave badly and all seems lost. Learning to recognize love in the spirit and actions of others and in one's mirror reflection are among the most important and powerful lessons that life (and this book) can impart. The author ventures that "when the time comes for you to set off on your own," it isn't mere luck that will ensure one's success; it's the ability to accept and to give love that will make all the difference. VERDICT This heartfelt and sensitively rendered picture book meditation begs to be shared and discussed with children, especially those with the maturity and life experience to appreciate the nostalgic tone and the nonlinear and philosophical musings. Spread the love.--Luann Toth, School Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

De la Peña's prose poem speaks right to young children. "In the beginning there is light/ and two wide-eyed figures standing/ near the foot of your bed,/ and the sound of their voices is love," he opens as an interracial couple looks down at a crib. The rest of de la Peña's poem is accompanied by images of families and friends of many different ages and appearances who live in cities and in rural or warm places, such as the group of men seen throwing horseshoes under palm trees. The expressions worn by Long's characters and the way their shoulders are stooped with care make them seem full of love, even when they're playing instruments or fishing. It's not always smooth sailing, and sometimes scary things happen ("One day you find your family/ nervously huddled around the TV"), but comfort is there. "It's okay, it's okay, it's love," says a grown-up offering a child an embrace. People often talk to children about love; in these pages, they can see and feel what it's like. And there's plenty for everybody. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The daily snapshots of families represented in this poetic, life-affirming paean to love subtly touch on aging, poverty, domestic violence, national tragedies, homelessness, disability, self-acceptance, sacrifice, and loss. Vibrant acrylic and pencil illustrations portray people from a variety of ethnic, racial, cultural, and religious backgrounds. It's an exquisitely written and illustrated picture book that speaks of how love can percolate up through the most common circumstances. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

From the moment prose and art appear in the opening spread, de la Pea and Long usher readers into a patient, pensive meditation on love.Love is the sound of the first voices we ever hear; it is the color of the night sky over a happy home; it is the echo of summer laughter. Love is under the stars during a fire alarm, behind a family's worry over a troubled world, and in the reassuring embrace after a bad dream. Love is at the core of family and at the back of sorrow and in the very bones of this book. If it's possible to shout quietly, then de la Pea has mastered the technique. His lyrical prose roars with gentle (and deceptive) simplicity to uncover the everyday and unexpected places where love and sometimes pain reside, giving rise to resilience. Not to be outmatched, Long's illustrations roar right back, crafting mirrors within a gorgeous spectrum of brown skin and glimpses of different lives, shaping reflections within visual perspectives that immerse readers in emotive power. And in a book brimful with potent images, readers are sure to pause at the stunning double-page spread filled with the placid face of a young person of color along with this assertion: "And the face staring back in the bathroom mirrorthis, too, is love."Timely, timeless, and utterly necessary. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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