Children's Literature - Sheilah Egan
Told in verse, a mother and her son exchange messages about how much they love each other. Cleverly fashioned with a picture of the earth in the middle surrounded by the words "I love you more than anything in the whole wide world," the book is two stories in one. It is reversible from each cover, each story ending in the center with the picture of the world. The illustrations are soft drawings that depict the characters as they walk hand and hand, as well as showing the examples that they share. When the boy asks his mother "Just how much do you love me?" she replies in terms of the highest flying bird, the tallest tree, the longest path, the prettiest flower, "…deeper than the deepest fish ever swam. I love you stronger than the strongest big river dam," and so forth. He whispers in reply "I love you more!" and next we see the whole wide world. The reader then flips the book over and reads the story from the boy's point of view with the mom asking him the "how much do you love me?" question. His answers include comparisons to quiet caterpillars, frog leaps, biggest bubbles, freest kites, highest swings, sweetest songs, long-lasting lollipops, loud rocket ships, tall giraffes, and "so much more than you have ever known." Mom's "I love you more" reply finds the reader back at the center of things: the "whole wide world" of love page. Obviously love itself was poured into the creation of this book. Perfect for Valentine's Day, this is a genuine expression of love which will inspire readers to discuss their own ideas about the subject. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Two books in one. Read one way, it is the parent who responds to the child's question, "just how much do you love me?" With the book turned over and read from the back, the mother asks the question of her son. Both answers are given in rhyming couplets as the pair try to prove the depth and strength of their love. Some of the rhymes work well, but others seem forced, e. g., "I love you longer than the longest path ever wound./I love you prettier than the prettiest flower ever found." At the middle, where the two books meet, readers see that the two love one another "more than anything in the whole wide world." The large illustrations are colorful and childlike, but the text trips the tongue. Similar titles, such as Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995), are more lyrical to read. Consider this one an additional purchase.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from I Love You More
Walking outdoors one day a little boy turned to his mother and asked, "Mommy, just how much do you love me?"
Surprised at the question but with no delay, she replied with a smile...
I love you higher than the highest bird ever flew.
I love you longer than the longest path ever wound.
I love you deeper than the deepest fish ever swam.