cover image That's Love

That's Love

Sam Williams, , illus. by Mique Moriuchi. . Holiday, $16.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-2028-5

In this colorful, slightly sappy paean to love, Williams and Moriuchi (who previously teamed up for Talk Peace ) nudge readers towards the understanding that the most important knowledge rests in the heart rather than the head. "I can name the leaves/ and even the trees," proclaims a rosy-cheeked girl as she takes a fanciful tour of her world (one scene finds her riding on a leaping dolphin). "I know all the countries of the world/ (well at least three).... But I can't name the look/ that I see on your face./ It isn't a color,/ it isn't a place./ .../ Is it love?" Williams then lapses into versifying, including these lines: "Knowing life is for living,/ being forgiving/ when it all goes wrong,/ that's love." While no preschooler would argue with this, it's hard to believe any youngster would find the text compelling. Moriuchi's naïf, mixed-media pictures go a long way in buoying the text; they brim with sunshine, reassurance and adorable people and animals of every stripe. The illustrator achieves some radiant effects with texture and translucent washes of color, and some of the spreads—like one in which two children embrace beneath a starry sky—are truly beautiful. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)