Review Blog

Dec 02 2013

I love you book by Libby Hathorn

cover image

Ill. by Heath McKenzie. IP Kids, 2011. ISBN 9781921479892. Ebook ISBN 9781921479908.
The inspiration for this book could have been the sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning which begins 'How do I love thee? Let me count the ways' because it is an ode to the pleasures and delights of the book - its sights, sounds, smells and the remarkable places it encourages our imagination to visit and the amazing creatures we meet when we get there.
'I love you book,
When they read you through and through
Or by myself
I read out loud
If there're only just we two!
From the 'rustle-bustle' of the pages to the 'dots and commas, question marks Performing every page' to the 'happily-ever-afters, packed-to-the-rafters', this is an enthusiastic, energetic romp that reaffirms the joy that reading provides and why books are here to stay because they are the perfect format. On each page, illustrator Heath McKenzie has created fantastic artworks (hand-drawn using a digital tablet) which match the energy of the text and help us recall some of the most magic moments in our reading lives. And even if we haven't yet met the centipede being rude or visited those lands at the top of the tree, it inspires us to find those books so we can.
Ms Hathorn says the inspiration for the book comes from an item she saw at a school assembly when three mothers of the students performed a 'book drama' called I Love You Book in honour of their children's excitement about learning to read and she immediately jotted down some ideas for this book. I wonder if those mothers know how far their performance has reached, particularly if we ask our students to express why they love books, not just as an exploration of the senses but also as a way of having them recommend books to others. Which books make you 'dreamy and sometimes quiet and slow', and which books make you want to 'go, get up and go!'? Similarly, how do those 'short-long words' make the story move, and what role do those dots and commas have?
If you're planning to start the year off with a focus on reading and books and the pleasures the children are going to be in for as the year with you progresses, this is a must-have.
Barbara Braxton

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