cover image I Love You More

I Love You More

Laura Duksta, , illus. by Karen Keesler. . Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4022-1126-3

A mother tells her son that she loves him “higher than the highest bird ever flew, /...taller than the tallest tree ever grew.” The son responds that he loves his mother even more, and by flipping the book over, readers can see how he expresses their relationship: “I love you quieter than the quietest caterpillar ever creeped/...further than the furthest frog ever leaped.” The two versions, mother's and son's, meet in the middle, expressed by text circling a globe— “I love you more than anything in the whole wide world”—so that the book's two-in-one format becomes an embodiment of the endless reciprocity of parent-child love. First-time author Kuksta's declarations feel honest and age-appropriate; Mom's words bring to mind classic pop songs, while the boy usually expresses his feelings by comparing them to lollipops, swings and rocket ships. But former photographer Keesler's pastel artwork and “Love is…” characterizations never rise above greeting-card level, offering little reason to choose this book over the many others that share its Runaway Bunny /Guess How Much I Love You sentiments and construct. Ages 4-up. (Nov) .