A sweet story for the sentimental reader.

You Are My I Love YouYou Are My I Love You, written by Maryann Cusimano Love and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa, is sugary from start to finish. I like this sort of story. Then again, I’m endlessly sappy which means You Are My I Love You is already three steps ahead in my book (pun totally intended).

The rhyming verse follows an ‘I am; You are’ pattern. For example, “I am your dinner; you are my chocolate cake. I am your bedtime; you are my wide awake.” The illustrations depict an adult bear with a little teddy as they experience the daily joys of parent-child interaction.

Love (it’s like she was born to write this particular story) has chosen her words carefully and well. Sometimes silly, sometimes serious, every page evokes a particular memory and moment as I read it. The rhyming scheme is also easy on the ears for my nearly-two-year-old.

I appreciate that the parent-figure is wearing blue clothing. This means that the figure is neutral enough that it could be a parent or caregiver from either gender. This is important because most I Love You stories seem to focus on the intimate moments with mum. This one allows for dad (or other) to read it too, and leaves room for discussion without having to respond to comments like, “but isn’t that his mummy?”

You Are My I Love You, published by Penguin Group, is recommended for children (and sappy parents) 3-5.

This one’s for you, Auntie Carol!

ImageThe predilection for creative writing runs in the genes. Really, my Auntie Carol should be a famous author. However, she happily cheers me on in all my writing and academic endeavours, for which I am so grateful. Today, I am reviewing this one for her because I know she’d love it!

The Runaway Hug is sweet and imaginative. It follows the story of a little girl, Lucy, and the adventure of her hug. When she accidentally gives away the hug she’s promised to return to Mummy, she must chase it down. Written by Nick Bland (who also wrote the award winning The Wrong Book — a favourite of mine), and illustrated by the delightful and whimsical Freya Blackwood, this one is satisfying. I don’t know if illustrations can be described as ‘lilting’, but somehow this seems an appropriate description here.

The story pangs at the nostalgic heartstrings for this Mummy. Did I mention this book was short-listed for The Children’s Book Council of Australia? It’s easy to see why. Buy it at: http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/book/the-runaway-hug/24740037/?gclid=CjgKEAjwt4-dBRCDnaTUn-mC_0oSJAC4Q6kGj-j0m6TQwNqu-f3cgUuvvba97MfPGTeixF4gRMFjC_D_BwE

‘Good Night, Me’. A sweet goodnight book from a fresh(ish) perspective.

good_night_me1-300x300This book is really, really cute. The marketplace is always flooded with ‘goodnight book’ options, and I’ve found it’s hard to distinguish some from others. Good Night, Me is a sweet and simple goodnight book by Andrew Daddo, illus by Emma Quay.

My favourite aspect of this book is that it follows the goodnight routine of an orang-utan who is genderless. This means it does not privilege or work towards gendering some aspect of your child’s bedtime.

The pages go through parts of the body, and what is their function, whilst wishing them each a good night, eg. “Neck, could you please just place my head on that pillow? That’s it.”

It is very saccharine, and if that isn’t your thing, then this book is not the one for you. But, for the rest of us ‘good night’ wishers, check it out. http://www.andrewdaddo.com/?page_id=17