Who Do You Love?
Martin Waddell. Candlewick Press (MA), $12.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0586-5
Waddell (the Little Bear books) introduces a cozy feline family preparing for bedtime in this smallish-format volume. As Mama helps Holly take her bath and wind down for the night, Holly wants to play their go-to-bed game. So Mama repeatedly poses the question in the title and the kitten names a specific member of her family and says why she loves each one. Hollys favorite part of the game comes when she has run out of family members to mentionsave for Mama, whom she teasingly leaves until the tail end. The kitten even adds in incidental friends to prolong the suspense (I love... the three kittens who roll down the hill; I love... the cat with the hat that we met yesterday in the woods). Mamas response to being omitted from Hollys litany (I think I might cry!) adds a humorous snap to this heartfelt tale. Once again Waddell hits the target with preschoolers just starting to flirt with independence. Ashforths (Horatios Bed) softly focused watercolor and pencil art, set into pale, mint-green pages, accentuates the soothing mood of the text. She makes the most of Hollys list of loved ones, using the kittens descriptions to fill in details of snug domestic scenes in Hollys kitchen, bedroom and surrounding hillsides. Preschoolers will love being in on Hollys go-to-bed game, and will want to try it out for themselves. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999