Animals come in many shapes and sizes—some have large ears, others have distinctive noses, and still others have far too many eyes! They express emotions in different ways, too, but one thing remains the same: love.
Ages: 3 and up
Fiction, 32 pages, 2021
When you read a picture book to a small child, that child hears your voice speaking the words that the author has written. This is a tautology, you might think: “Well, of course if I am reading aloud, it is my voice that the child is hearing.” Yet beneath this statement of the obvious there’s something wonderful. For when you read a picture book in which the author (or a character) expresses affection and tenderness, then the child hears not merely the loving words in the book, which is nice enough, but also those loving words spoken by you. For this reason, picture books about love have the happy effect of dispensing it. This is what author Lindsay Bonilla and illustrator Eleonora Pace make possible with “I Love You With All of My Hearts” (Creative Editions, 32 pages, $18.99), a picture book for children ages 2-6 that enlists tapirs, chameleons, centipedes and other creatures from the natural world in the service of parental affection. “I love you with all of my ears,” we read, as a fennec fox cuddles up with an elephant. A few pages on, we see an adult and infant gorilla: “I love you with all of my chest.” The book gets its title from the final scene, in which a fully grown octopus dandles a wide-eyed baby above the shell-strewn seabed (see below): “I love you, my child, completely! I love you with all of my hearts. All of me loves all of you—every single part!” The book’s addendum explains more about each animal: that the huge ears of the fennec fox can be half the length of its body; that adult male gorillas thump their chests to warn away younger ones; that octopuses have indeed not one heart but three.
–Meghan Cox Gurdon, Wall Street Journal , 08/06/2021
All kinds of animals interact fancifully in loving embraces.An eclectic collection of animals is depicted in warm, softly textured watercolor paintings on double-page spreads. Each of the diverse animals is shown affectionately cuddling another in novel ways, sometimes two of the same species, sometimes completely different. An elephant has a tiny, big-eared fox nestled in its ear: “I love you with all of my ears”; an aardvark, a tapir and a proboscis monkey twine their snouts together as ants crawl around; multi-eyed spiders ogle each other; a gray fox wraps its tail around a lion’s mane; whales and dolphins breach and dive; and a pair of chameleons is locked in a tight embrace: “I love you with all of my skin.” The title animal, the octopus, loves its child “with all of my hearts.” These and other whimsical conjunctions of a variety of animals will afford a lively bedtime conversation, aided by a useful glossary at the end with fun facts about all the animals depicted. Did you know that Arctic foxes have 20,000 hairs per square centimeter on their bodies, and there is a millipede with 750 legs—“more than any other creature on the planet!” The nerdy older sib will enjoy this as much as the little one.Playfully shows that love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Where is the seat of affection, and who decided that it was the heart? North Canton author Lindsay Bonilla finds that love resides everywhere in her dreamy picture book “I Love You with All of My Hearts.”What does an elephant have? Enormous ears. In one picture, a fennec fox curls up in the fold of an elephant’s huge ear, under a night sky of twinkling stars with the endearment “I love you with all of my ears.” A jacana wading bird strolls between lotus flowers by stretching out its huge feet: “I love you with all my toes.”Later, a pair of entwined millipedes love with all of their legs — as many as 750 of them, according to the informative glossary at the end of the book — and two big crocodiles and their baby love with all of their scales.Finally, the title is explained: The octopus has three hearts, and the parent octopus says, “I love you, my child, completely! I love you with all of my hearts. All of me loves all of you — every single part!”“I Love You with All of My Hearts” (32 pages, hardcover) costs $18.99 from Creative Editions. It is recommended for children 3 or older. The illustrations are by Italian artist Eleonora Pace. Lindsay Bonilla also is the author of the delightful “Polar Bear Island.
–Barbara McIntyre, Akron Beacon Journal, 12/05/2021
Animals all look different, and some have really prominent features: large ears, long noses, lots of eyes, brilliant feathers, big feet, many feet, and multiple hearts. This gentle story explores many different types of animals with these unique features as an expression of love. Each page features animals with unusual features, and the use of simple text makes it easy to share with younger readers. The playful illustrations show animals as they snuggle, dance, and wiggle, creating a sense of motion and fun. At the back of the book, a list of all the featured animals includes their names and interesting facts about them, such as how many hearts an octopus has and how they're affected by its movement. As readers get older, adding those facts in while reading will add new interest and make it a book worth reading again and again. All in all, this is a sweet book to read with little ones.
–Kasey Giard, Children's Literature, 09/01/2021