I started class with a fill in the blank question. “Love is [your answer here].” Hands shot in the air like wildfire. “Awesome,” said one. “Powerful,” said another. “Yucky,” said a third, to which the room erupted in giggles. We talked then about descriptive language, how to tap into a reader’s emotions, and how to convey feelings through imagery. Then we read Matt de la Pena’s newest book, LOVE, exquisitely illustrated by Loren Long, and my students were mesmerized. Awestruck. They even started clapping when the last page of the book was turned. What a moment. And so well-deserved.
LOVE is a meditation on love- that transcendent, all encompassing, powerful emotion so integral to who we are as humans, one so easy to feel but so difficult to adequately express in words. Leave it to this dynamic duo, though, to not just convey the meaning of love, but to show it so remarkably that every spread makes your chest tighten and your eyes brim and leaves you whispering “yes, yes...” as you turn each page. The prose is poetry in its purest form, the message is timeless, and the notion that love can be found in both the familiar and the unexpected is masterful. Even better? The stunning illustrations will be mirrors for kids worldwide, making this a compelling and compassionate book for children everywhere.
After reading LOVE, we went around the room and did the exercise we opened with again. And this time, the answers were astounding: “Love is my dog running to me with his tail wagging when I get home from school.” “Love is a broken arm, because when you hurt yourself, everyone who cares about you does whatever they can to make you feel better.” “Love is a slam dunk, because everyone you love cheers for you when you get a basket.” Love is... love is... love. This stunning book is a must for everyone, everywhere.
Want the book? Get it here! Love, by Matt de la Pena. This is an affiliate link. HEE received an advanced copy of this book, but all opinions expressed herein are entirely our own.