cover image Ways to Say I Love You

Ways to Say I Love You

Marilyn Singer, illus. by Alette Straathof. Words & Pictures, $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7112-5737-5

In a series of couplets, Singer presents the way various animals—including garter snakes, peacocks, and dance flies—court each other, compared to humans’ dating particularities. “Whales make music/ when they woo,” reads one verso page portraying two sinuous whales in a watercolor ocean, while the recto page reads, “Sweethearts warble/ love songs, too,” depicting a pair of fuchsia-clad people serenading one another on the shore. Intricate yet accessible multilayered art by Straathof washes the pages in rich colors and textures; human couples include those of varying skin tones, hair colors, and sexualities. Though the text disregards those who may not want a partner (“It’s the truth. There’s no debate./ Every creature wants a mate”), the book may yet find fans in young nature enthusiasts. Back matter expounds upon the courtship methods of the animals pictured. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)