cover image I Love You Because I Love You

I Love You Because I Love You

Mượn Thị Văn, illus. by Jessica Love. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (32p) I

In this call-and-response celebration of love’s power to grow and endure, individuals in inclusive pairs—across ability, gender expression, generation, and skin tone—tell the other what their bond means to them. Young and old, skinny and stocky, all are drawn with grace and humor by Love (Julián Is a Mermaid). On the verso of one spread, a child with a long, thick black braid listens to an adult spinning a tale about a dragon: “I love you because you tell the best stories,” the child says. On the recto, the same adult holds the face of the now mature youth, whose backpack tells of a journey to come. “Because I love you,” the adult says, “my best story is you.” On another spread, identical twins with bobbed haircuts and party dresses stand before a birthday cake: “I love you because we go together,” writes Văn (Wishes). Shown much older on the recto, one twin wears cropped hair and pants: “Because I love you,” the text reads, “we change and grow together.” Throughout, words and images testify to acceptance, joy, and intimacy over time, and they are worth visiting again and again. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)