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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There is a popular, well-known biblical verse that speaks profoundly about love: “Love is patient and kind; loves does not envy or boast…” For young children, love is a simple concept because it’s something that wraps them in kindness and comfort, with gentle words and caring actions. But sometimes we need to remind young readers (and ourselves as well) of the many facets of love: how love comforts, protects, and lasts forever.
Casey Rislov’s picture book story, Love, is a simple retelling of the words from 1 Corinthians. The many facets of love are told in a way that young readers can understand and appreciate, using simple language, repetitive words (like love, of course) so young readers can learn to read this themselves. Each new concept of “Love is…” is accompanied by a delightful illustration, bright and colorful, and the powerful four-letter word, “Love”, is hidden or interwoven in the picture, sometimes more than once. Each illustration will encourage the young reader to interpret what concept of love is being presented. For example, “Love is kind” depicts a grandmother caring for her grandchild, while in the background is the garden she also cares for but has left alone so she can devote her attention to the grandchild. And “Love endures through all” has several examples of endurance, like the moose in the background locking its horns, stuck to a tree. The concepts of love can certainly be shared with young and old and there are some images that will invite tears, while others will cause one to chuckle. A gentle, compassionate look at the many powers of love.