I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd

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I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Trish Simpson-Davis
Reviewed by Trish Simpson-Davis
Summary: A simple rhyme exploring a young child’s world provides a soothingly predictable sound track to some lovely illustrations which are sure to appeal. Best read with one and two year olds interested in books at a pre-story stage.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 26 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Orchard Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1-40832-432-5

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This is the fourth I love … publication from the prolific Giles Andreae, this time partnered by illustrator Emma Dodd. Judging by the little trike the child rides, this book is aimed at one and two year old children. It would be a good choice for a child not yet up for a simple story, since here, the language is the emotional narrative. Repetitive rhyming couplets explore familiar aspects of a young child’s world. The best books for pre-language children at bedtime secure and settle, and the appeal of this book is in its predictable rhythmn and happy emotion, rather than a challenging vocabulary or exciting story line.

This time the focus moves from Mummy and Daddy (the two earlier titles) to dogs, birds and insects in the garden, dinners and ice creams, toys and grandparents. Andreae says on his website that he wants to encourage children to be happy and appreciate the many good things in their lives for the sake of their future mental health, which is a wonderful aim. All children will have familiar and loved soft toys, so a cuddly rabbit and teddy are appropriate choices for love. Other pages are less convincing: some children don’t have pet dogs, or get to see grandparents often. Many will be totally unfamiliar with subject matter like crabs and fishes swimming in rock pools. And such young children are unlikely to recognise themselves dancing round holding hands with three best friends because friendships are still way in the future for a toddler. As you may have guessed, the notion that the child will indiscriminately love everything that the adult reads out is not for me. I’m happier with books that either examine the emotion in a simple way or reassure the child that other people love him.

That said, the illustrations by Emma Dodd will appeal to the youngest book explorers, with bold lines and bright colours sketching out characterised people and settings. As in the earlier books in the series, the children can be viewed as girls or boys. Some pages work really well: I particularly loved the plate of sizzling sausages, the beach scene and the child busy riding his trike, complete with rabbit and teddy on board. On a couple of pages there are interesting reflections to talk about and the garden scene is beautiful, with birds and insects to count together. I think slightly older children would be carried along by the illustrations for a limited period, perhaps as a library loan. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book.

Sadly, I far preferred the absolutely brilliant There's a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban, which is robust and humorous enough to take you through nine months of waiting for a baby to arrive.

Other Bookbag reviewers liked the two earlier titles I Love My Mummy and I Love my Daddy from the same authors.

Buy I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd at Amazon.co.uk

Buy I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd at Amazon.com.


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