Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley

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Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley

Buy Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: Nice pictures, but not much point otherwise: annoying, stretched beyond credulity and without any rhythm or care for the text, this book, although not actively offensive doesn't have much point apart form extending an established bandwagon of successful toddler books.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 24 Date: February 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007184064

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Mandy Stanley does nice pictures: simple, colourful, in a typical 'modern for children' style; boldly drawn and with a cut out quality that might have originally started with Matisse some 574 generations of illustrations ago. This kind of style appeals to many children and I dare say would appeal to many parents, especially those that dislike super-naturalistic and often very saccharine old fashioned illustrations. There isn't much magic nor much detail to explore, but they are easy on the eye and on the brain too, without being exactly boring.

But this is where my praise of Who Do You Love? has to stop, as, apart from those nice pictures, there isn't really much in this book to recommend it. The text consists of the question 'who does xxx love?' and relevant answers. We get a variety of creatures, mostly animal, with answers ranging from semi-realistic to humorous to totally anthropomorphic; the final question is 'who does owl love?' and the answer is a rather clunky effort at onomatopoeic humour: whoo? you? - but why the owl? why me?

Apart from this, the text is put together without a visible attempt at making it rhythmical or linguistically attractive in any way (I know there is only so much one can do with one sentence captions, but it's certainly possible).

I also have no idea why, if the concept behind the book is to show different kinds of love, is the author using animals in realistic settings? It would make much more sense to have either real human characters or animal fable with animals-as-people. After all, love is mostly a human concept and saying that "fish loves the boy who feeds her" doesn't really further understanding of love or fish or boys.

As you can probably gather, I didn't like Who Do You Love?. It seems like an attempt to extend a series started with What Do You Say? and What Do You Do? while tying in with the approaching Valentine's Day (which is a celebration of romantic and sexual human love and thus doesn't apply to little children, ants or fish); but it's too much of a hotchpotch, with neither relevance nor fantastic imagination.

It is pink and pretty though.

Who Do You Love? was kindly sent to us by the publisher.

For much better books for toddlers and young preschoolers try:

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Sims Taback

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and

Rattletrap Car by Phyllis Root

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Buy Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Who Do You Love? by Mandy Stanley at Amazon.com.


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