cover image What's Love?

What's Love?

Shelley Rotner, Deborah Carlin, , photographs by Rotner. . Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-362-5

Rotner (Every Season ) and newcomer Carlin's affirmations, paired with Rotner's b&w photographs and stylishly printed in red font, explore how love sustains children. “Love opens our heart. It makes us giggle and sometimes cry,” reads the text, while two photographs show, respectively, two cherubic boys smiling and hugging, and a girl with a furrowed brow and a tear on her cheek. Many shots have a static quality, and statements like “Love lets us share. Love helps us trust,” defining one abstract concept with another, may puzzle the target audience. Sometimes spontaneity and concrete images burst through: “We love the buzz of ideas and stories in our heads,” reads one page, as a dark-haired boy in glasses regards the photographer with a wonderful mixture of apprehension and irritation. His expression doesn't correspond so neatly to the text; nevertheless, it seems more truthful. Ages 2–6. (Jan.)