cover image All You Need Is Love

All You Need Is Love

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. Little Simon, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2981-9

Rosenthal (Small Walt) turns Lennon and McCartney’s Summer of Love anthem into a tribute to friendship and community. At the end of winter, when the trees are still bare and melted snow puddles dot the ground, a bear in its den hears the happy song of a bluebird family (“Love, love, love”) and is inspired to take the message to the forest, and then to the streets. Accompanied by the birds and other woodland friends, the bear enlists a lonely-looking boy to join; the boy in turn urges a brooding girl to shake off her mood and march beside him. Flowers spring up in their path, the landscape turns lush, and people of all ages celebrate their connections to one another. The circular, allusive lyrics may be hard for young listeners to track when read aloud (“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done/.... Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game”). But singing the text—and giving in to the impulse to sway along—imbues it with fun and meaning, and Rosenthal’s joyful cartooning underscores the exhortation that “it’s easy” to share good vibes. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 4–8. [em](Jan.) [/em]