cover image And I Love You

And I Love You

Ruth Krauss, illus. by Steven Kellogg, Scholastic Press, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-439-02459-4

Kellogg (The Pied Piper's Magic) offers a jubilant interpretation of this deceptively simple story by the late Krauss, originally published in 1987 as Big and Little. Through light-infused and highly textural paintings that feature a brilliant palette, Kellogg presents a paean to parent-child love, nature, and the imagination-unleashing power of books. As a mother cat and her kitten explore the natural world, the mother carries a book, its pages and cover changing to mirror, on a smaller scale, their surroundings: forest, field, sea, and sky. On the surface, the notion of opposite sizes drives the understated, free-form narrative ("big forests love little trees; big seas love little shells; big stories love little words to fly around in"). Expansive scenes of a turbulent sea or a slightly frightening city at night alternate with closeup images of mother and son, cementing the message of reassurance at the heart of the story. Kellogg cleverly integrates books into his artwork; they become archways on a forest path, a sailboat, and city buildings. A welcome revival of this gem of a tale. Ages 1–4. (Oct.)