cover image Win or Lose, I Love You!

Win or Lose, I Love You!

Lysa TerKeurst, illus. by Jana Christy. Tommy Nelson, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-529-10400-7

Lulu and Max%E2%80%94it's unclear if they are siblings or friends%E2%80%94preside over a Field Day competition among forest animals, while trying to ensure that the competitors win and lose gracefully. An introductory note aimed at parents signals this picture book's didactic intentions from the outset, and indeed TerKeurst's (It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change) messages about kindness, generosity, and forgiveness dominate. After Coyote wins the costume contest, and Goosey responds with a tantrum, Lulu jumps in with a rhyme that becomes the story's takeaway: "You may not win, but you must try./ Sometimes you'll lose, but there's no need to cry./ Win or lose, one thing that's true.../ no matter what, I love you!" Christy (When the Wind Blows) creates an appealingly soft, gauzy forest landscape and an amiable cast of human and animal characters, which helps offset the stiffness of their conversations. As a teaching tool, it's sure to have its uses, though the story itself never rises beyond its instructive goals. Ages 4%E2%80%938. Author's agent: Esther Fedorkevich, Fedd Agency. Illustrator's agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates. (Sept.)