Review Blog

Apr 15 2014

How I Love You by Anna Pignataro

cover image

Scholastic, 2014. ISBN: 9781742838182.
Highly recommended for all readers aged 0-60+. In this gentle, beautifully illustrated Australian tale, each baby animal in the bush spends time with its mother, demonstrating how it loves her. With carefully worded, sparse text, and perfectly paired images, each double page focuses on a different mother and baby. Clean white backgrounds add to the uncluttered nature of the book and hence the illustrations cannot help but draw the reader's attention to every detail. Direct speech is employed as each animal makes its declaration of love to its mother and the important verbs are highlighted in blue print.
Anna Pignataro's illustrations utilise the colours of the bush with muted blues, greens and browns giving a realistic impression of each creature, despite the animals looking decidedly 'cute'. The most vibrant and striking colours are those used to show a pair of parrots and some toadstools.
In the classroom, this title could be used in many ways for varied units of work. As part of an author study, particularly if looking at Australian authors, this would fit brilliantly. Teachers could focus on settings, animals and their habitats and behaviours. As a mother's day title, one could consider the love of mothers for their babies and vice versa. As stated previously, verbs could be pulled out of the text and alternatives provided and punctuation used in direct speech could also be considered.
This is a delightful title which I would recommend to readers of all ages.
Jo Schenkel

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