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Who Wrote the Book on Love?

Who Wrote the Book on Love?

Kate Marley

Lots of people! Love is one of the greatest, and most interesting topics for literature anywhere, and children’s books are certainly no exception. Love for parents, for siblings, for family, God or friends, for the earth, for justice and freedom…like love itself, the topics are boundless, and beautiful. Enjoy.

Saint Valentine retold and illustrated by Robert Sabuda. C 1999, Aladdin. This is an excellent book for young ones about the saint who inspired a holiday for love. An early Christian martyr, Valentine was a simple doctor who healed the poor in ancient Rome. Legend has it that he befriended a prison guard and his blind daughter, and his last message to her was the inspiration for valentines that we send now. It’s beautifully illustrated in a mosaic style, and also has historical notes at the end.

On a Wintry Morning by Dori Chaconas. C 2000, Viking. Told in rhyme that will really appeal to toddlers and babies, this adorable book about a special winter outing with Daddy is sure to be read again and again. The exquisite, lifelike illustrations are by Stephen T. Johnson.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis. C 2000, Little, Brown. Based on the author’s own experience, this tender story of an overseas adoption will touch anyone who has wished for a child of their own. Soft watercolors by Jane Dyer just add to the charm.

Into My Mother’s Arms by Sharon Jennings. C 2000, Fitzhenry & Whiteside. A little girl tells about a day with her mother; how they go to the market together, the park and all their other daily routines. Without saying it out loud, the sense of security and love just emanate from every page. Beautiful, delicate drawings by Ruth Ohi are a perfect compliment to this heartwarming story.

Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest. C 2000, Harcourt. They have to move, and Iris doesn’t want to. She loves living in the city, with all the kids to play with, and all the familiar noises throughout the day. Her parents love their new place in the country, but Iris doesn’t….until she climbs a tree one day and meets Walter, who shows her all the great things she can do in the country. Then, she loves them both. Pastel drawings by Christine Davenier capture the best of both worlds also.

Gloria’s Way by Ann Cameron. C 2000, Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Fans of Julian and Huey can now read their friend Gloria’s side of things in this charming little book about the satisfaction and comfort that comes with steady family and good friends. Black and white illustrations are by Liz Toft.

Village Full of Valentines by James Stevenson. C 1995, Greenwillow. Quirky stories about a village of animals celebrating Valentines Day in their own peculiar way make for fun reading, especially at this time of year. Colorful and cartoonish illustrations are by the author.

Teen Love: On Relationships by Kimberly Kirberger. C 1999, Health Communications, Inc. This is a great collection of letters, poems, quotes and advice about the incredibly wonderful, painful and changeable world of teens in love. Written by the author of the series “Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul”, it has that same common-sense and sympathetic tone.

Love and Other Four-Letter Words by Carolyn Mackler. C 2000, Delacorte. Sammie used to have the usual ideas about love…respect, deep feelings and that sense of dependability…but ever since her father left, her ideas have changed. Moving to New York City only made all the other changes worse, but she learns that she is strong enough. Four letter words like loss, hate and grow take on new meaning for this endearing sixteen year old.

Snail Mail No More by Paula Danziger & Ann Martin. C 2000, Scholastic. What happens when your best friend moves away? It used to mean The End, but now with e-mail, it’s easier for older kids to stay connected to loved ones left behind. And so it is with Elizabeth and Tara*Starr; email keeps their friendship alive. Funny and poignant, this sequel to “Longer Letter Later” shows how friendships can grow and evolve even between two very different people facing tough circumstances.

Cosmos Coyote and William the Nice by Jim Heynen. C 2000, Henry Holt. As a repeat juvenile offender, Cosmos faces a tough choice: incarceration in Seattle or living a year with relatives in Iowa. He chooses Iowa, but it’s another universe to the seventeen year old. Country music, farm chores, and a private Christian school are alien and unfriendly…until he meets Cherlyn. It’s a positive, beautiful love story about two young people who have to find their own common ground and their own way within limitations set by others, themselves, and their special circumstances.

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