cover image I Love You Just the Way You Are

I Love You Just the Way You Are

Virginia Miller. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0664-0

Young Bartholomew (""Ba"") is entirely out of sorts in Miller's (On Your Potty!; Be Gentle!) latest on-target tale starring the endearing duo Ba and George. On a winter's walk with big bear George, Ba's ears are cold and his legs feel ""too stumpy""; back home, his porridge is ""too lumpy"" and ""his tummy too plumpy."" Though he hides under a chair at bath time and tries to squirm out of George's arms (issuing multiple ""Nahs"") en route to the tub, the comforting elder bear keeps his cool and--drenched by the squirming, splashing bather--pronounces the winning words of the book's title. Though Miller's quirky, ear-pleasing rhymes may well elicit giggles, the book's humor in large part emanates from her unadorned, softly focused depictions of these cuddly characters. Their facial expressions, poses and interactions illuminate not only the contrast between George's patience and Ba's obstinacy, but the warm bond between the two as well. The pair's many loyal fans and the story's popular theme of unconditional love ensure that this book will make a splash. Ages 2-5. (Nov.)