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.
–Wall Street Journal, August 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; multieyed 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. (Picture book. 2-5)
–Kirkus Reviews, August 2021