From the Publisher
CHILD, January 1997
To children who ask "Who do you love best?" this book offers the perfect balm. The setting for eloquent text and watercolors is a day spent fishingand competing to be number one. Each child, a mother tells her two sons, is beloved for his own special ualities. The deliberate Julian is loved "the bluest," ebullient Max "the reddest," for a combined love that is "the purplest."
PARENTS, December 1996
When two brothers ask their mother which one she loves best, she comes up with a wise and loving answer. This book is a tender reminder that have a special place in their parents' hearts.
BOOKLIST, October 15, 1996
Further probing the theme of her Seprember 16, 1996
The setting is idyllic as two brothers and their Mama go fishing in the lake near their cabin until stars sprinkle the sky and the water turns dark as night. Max is boisterous; Julian is quieter and both of them are rivals for their mother's attention and her love. Who's the best fisherman? they ask Who's the best rower? At the end of the day, who does Mama love the best? Each time she answers them to show that she loves them both for their own special selves. Whyte's double-page-spread watercolors show the warm family scenes in a landscape filled with light and color. A soft affectionate story to confront the hard edges of sibling rivalry.
CHILD, Best Books of the Year, December/January 1997 To children who ask, "Who do you love the best?" this book offers the perfect balm. The setting for eloquent text and watercolors is a day spent fishingand competing to be number one. Each child, a mother tells her two sons, is beloved for his own special qualitites. The deliberate Julian is loved "the bluest," ebullient Max "the reddest," for a combined love that is "the purplest."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Further probing the theme of her Mama, Do You Love Me?, Joosse's resonant tale spotlights two young sons on a fishing expedition with their mother; each boy is angling to be tops with Mom. Clearly an experienced peacemaker, Mama offers just the right answers when the boys inquire which of them, for example, is the best rower: "Why, Julian, you took the deepest strokes. And Max, your strokes were fastest." As she tucks them into bed that night, they each pose the ultimate question: "Who do you love best?" She loves one the "bluest," the other the "reddest"; it is up to presiding adults to explain how these add up to the "purplest." Though it hovers on the cloying, Joosse's image-laden narrative makes for a soothing bedtime read-aloud. Gracefully moving from naturalistic panoramas to close-ups of the cherubic-looking brothers, Whyte's (Boomer's Big Day) watercolors amplify the story's considerable emotional pitch. Combining lifelike images of the characters with abstract impressions of twilit skies or lakeside woods, the art encapsulates the lyricism of the text. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
One of the most difficult issues young children face is the arrival of a new sibling. Sibling books are a great way to introduce and talk about potential issues or to help a child who is already experiencing the transition to find comfort in the fact that a picture book character has similar feelings and may even have found a satisfactory resolution. Joosse provides the best treatment I've ever read about sibling competition and a mother trying to answer the unwelcome question: "Who do you love best?"
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2Two young brothers head out with their mother in a rowboat for an evening of fishing. They ask her to tell them who is better at digging worms, rowing, and catching fish, and later, back in their cabin at bedtime, they ask whom she loves the best. With each answer the caring mother assures both boys that they are equally skilled and equally loved. "I love you the bluest" she tells thoughtful, methodical Julian, "the color of a cave...splash of a waterfall...hush of a whisper." To peripatetic, energetic Max, she says, "I love you the reddest...the color of sky before it blazes into night." The final double-page spread, illustrating their cabin at night, is awash with purples; and so, she loves both "the purplest." The text effectively conveys movement with vigorous verbs and uses expressive phrases. Clues to each boy's character and temperament are provided. The glowing double-page watercolors, rendered in greens, blues, golds, reds, and purples, evoke the night's activities. The striking use of light, particularly the lantern in the boat and the stars, creates interest as do the effective compositions and varied perspectives. Occasionally some of the figures are awkwardly painted, but this is a minor flaw. Like the author's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991), this reassuring book, good for story time or one-to-one sharing, will encourage families to think of their own superlative expressions of love.Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA