An "I Love You" Book

Only You by Robin Cruise, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

No child's library would be complete without a warm and fuzzy "I Love You" book or two, and this is a very good one. It is not a board book
(I wish it were), but still, I think it's good for a baby. We read it almost every night.

The text is a simple poem in three parts. The first part is set in the morning with a mom and her baby. The second part is in the afternoon with a dad and his toddler boy. The third part is in the evening with a mom and her preschool-age daughter.

Essentially, it's a love song from a parent to a child.

An excerpt:

When the sky glows peachy-rose at dawn,
I love the way you stretch and yawn.
I love your mouth,
your ears,
your eyes.
I love your happy wake-up cries.

As you can see, it is dripping with sweetness-- "love" is in every sentence. And the art, by a Caldecott honoree, is good -- simple and sweet like the text:

I should say that even though the title is "Only You," the idea is not that the parent loves "only you," or that the book is for only children (which is what I thought when I picked it up). The title comes from the last line of the book, which is: "I love my one, my only, you."

Anyway, I give this one a thumbs up, even though I was highly allergic to sentimental stuff in my pre-baby life. I have to say, after having been away at work all day, I like sitting with my baby and reading words like these to her.

Eliza seems to like it, too. I often play a game with her where I hold up two books and say "Which one shall we read?", and when I offer this one, she almost always picks it!

Bright Copper Kettles and Warm Woolen Mittens

A Few of My Favorite Things, song by Rodgers and Hammerstein, illustrated by Renee Graef

I love this song, and I love the way it's illustrated in this book. It's a sweet, painterly style. Each scene includes a little girl and usually also her brother. The world of this pair reminds me of my childhood in Maryland-- particularly the fall and winter months (which are so different for me now that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area).

Here is one of my favorite spreads:

That just says "late October afternoon" to me.

I don't read many "regular paper" picture books with Eliza, because she can suddenly decide she wants to crumble, tear, and eat the pages. However, if she is mellow enough, she can even help turn these pages if I prop them up for her.

I shouldn't say I "read" this to her, because I find I am actually unable to just read it-- it must be sung, just like Julie Andrews did. I try anyway.

You should hear me on the last spread:

"And then I don't feeeeeeeeeeeeeel soooooooooooooooooooooo baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad."

Anyway, if you love the Sound of Music, and if this song is an old familiar favorite of yours, this book captures it just right. I just wish they would make a board book out of it.