cover image Just Because You’re Mine

Just Because You’re Mine

Sally Lloyd-Jones, illus. by Frank Endersby. Harper, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-201476-4

When Little Red Squirrel’s father shouts, “Did I tell you today that I love you?” his son answers, “Because why?” As father and child spend the day playing, Little Red Squirrel tries out various answers to the question. “Do you love me because I’m fast?” he asks after showing off his “Super Fast Running.” Of course, that’s not the reason why, nor are the others the small squirrel suggests—his father confirms that he’s good at finding berries, brave, daring, and handsome, but it’s not until bedtime that Daddy whispers the real reason he loves his child, an answer that the book’s title makes clear. Reminiscent of Guess How Much I Love You, it’s a conventional and reassuring reminder of a parent’s love for a child. While the language may occasionally be too sweet for some tastes, Lloyd-Jones (How to Get a Job... by Me, the Boss) interjects bits of light humor throughout (mostly in the form of Little Red Squirrel’s boisterous confidence and limitless energy), and the warmth and affection depicted in Endersby’s illustrations should appeal to those looking for models of fathers lovingly tending to children. Ages 3–7. Agent: Curtis Brown. Illustrator’s agent: Beehive Illustration. (Jan.)