There, There by Sam McBratney

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Ill. by Ivan Bates.  Koala Books, 2013. ISBN 9781742760728.
(Age: 2+) Recommended. Love. Kindness. Caring. Read aloud. Hansie's dad always says 'There, there, Hansie Bear' and gives him a hug whenever he hurts himself. When he walked like a duck and fell into a ditch, Dad was there, ready to comfort him with a There, there.' The same thing happened when he got sand in his eyes and when he bumped his head hard on a branch. So when Dad hurt his foot, Hansie knows exactly what to do to help him with his injury.
This is a beautiful feel good story that is just as endearing as the author's previous book, Guess how much I love you. McBratney has the wonderful ability to encapsulate the feelings of the very young. His description of and praise for the act of loving leaves both the reader and child filled with happiness and joy just at the thought of how much love is in Hansie's family.
The pictures are filled with soft warm browns, with the trees losing their leaves and the wind blowing the clothes that Hansie's Dad has hung on the clothesline. The expressions on the faces of the bears and other animals in the story are delightful and the windy day is drawn to perfection.
This a warm hearted book that is a keeper for me. It would be an ideal present for parents and grandparents to give little children and one for the classroom where family relationships, love, compassion and caring are being discussed.
Pat Pledger