And I Love You

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Image of And I Love You by Ruth Krauss (2010-10-01)
Release Date: 
October 1, 2010
Orchard Books
Reviewed by: 

And I Love You is a spare, simple, and tender book about a mommy cat and her kitten.

Ruth Krauss’s unusual text celebrates the “expansiveness of love between a parent and child” as so succinctly and well put in the jacket copy of this hardcover, 40-page picture book. Unlike many picture books, this one is best targeted toward the 0–3 age range, as opposed to 4–8 year-old children because of its simplicity.

The text takes the reader into the big, wide world where love is expressed in beautiful sentiments that are analogous to the love a parent has for a child:

“Big forests / love little trees
Big fields / love little flowers . . .
Big seas / love little shells
Big stories / love little words to fly around in . . .”

Poetic and joyous, the text features Steven Kellogg’s “luminous” drawings (as the jacket copy promises). Mr. Kellogg, who illustrated the wonderful Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino, does not deliver his best work here. He is indeed talented when it comes to depicting lovely backgrounds and objects surrounding the stars of this book. But his renderings of the actual characters creeped me out somewhat. I could not figure out why until, upon closer examination, I realized that each time we see them, mommy cat and baby kitten have the most panicked look in their wide, wide eyes! Almost as if they are zombies peering into outer space with crazed-seeming eyeballs as opposed to looking at each other or something else.

However, I have to admit that my children did not share my sentiments about the art and enjoyed the book just fine.

Just goes to show you that too much knowledge about books can make one too scrupulous and detail-oriented—for if the kids like this Valentine’s Day offering, who am I to disagree?