Love Is Real


From author Janet Lawler comes a charming story celebrating the power of love, with warm and tender art from debut picture-book illustrator Anna Brown. Young readers will delight in following along families of foxes, bunnies, and bears as they learn about the nature of unconditional love in Love Is Real.

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From author Janet Lawler comes a charming story celebrating the power of love, with warm and tender art from debut picture-book illustrator Anna Brown. Young readers will delight in following along families of foxes, bunnies, and bears as they learn about the nature of unconditional love in Love Is Real.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In impeccably rhymed couplets, Lawler (Snowzilla) makes the case that love is all about actions in a story that feels simultaneously old-fashioned and of-the-moment. Newcomer Brown assembles cleanly laid-out digital collages whose soft corrugated and fabric textures and muted palette create a welcoming forest neighborhood where rabbit, bear, and fox families live in tidy cottages. “Love holds on to steer your bike/ and packs a picnic lunch you like,” writes Lawler as Brown shows the three families heading out into the forest for a day of picnicking, game-playing, tree-climbing, and scrape-bandaging (presumably after an off-screen tumble). Later, the animals return home for gentle nighttime activities: “Love unknots your tangled hair/ and finds a special book to share,” reads the text as one young fox brushes the other’s tail; on the facing page, they sprawl out on their bunk beds for a bedtime story. Though the rhymes may be too sweet for some palates, this well-matched pair maintains an even-keeled tone throughout—there are no major emotional highs or lows, just a steady sense of comfort. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Real love is expressed through the many seemingly small acts that take place every day. Brown uses textured paper to create digital collages that show bear, bunny and fox families engaged in a wide range of activities. Usually, an older or bigger animal is helping or playing with a younger or smaller one. Occasionally, the younger ones assist one another, as in climbing a tree or untangling knotted fur. Playing hide–and-seek, applying a bandage, freeing a kite from a tree and tying shoelaces are some gestures of real love. Lawler, perhaps in an attempt to stay true to the rhyme structure, provides at least one singularly odd example: "Love plays lion in a crouch / and snuggles closer on the couch." One side of the spread shows a young bunny about to pounce on the ball of yarn his mother is knitting from, while the next page features the two side by side with the little rabbit curled up under a blanket. In the end, the message is clear: "Love does all these little things / to fill your heart until it sings. / Love is real the whole day through. / It's always there-- // from me to you." Although the art may charm the preschool set, the saccharine and singsong text fall flat. An admirable message delivered in a lackluster manner--pass. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062241702
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/23/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 798,704
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Lawler is the author of Tyrannoclaus, If Kisses Were Colors, Snowzilla, A Father's Song, and Ocean Counting. Her love of family and nature inspires much of her writing. Her family shares their home in Connecticut with a dog, a lizard, and assorted wildlife visiting the backyard.

Anna Brown grew up in Sheffield, England, and studied illustration at Loughborough University. She went on to complete a master's degree in children's book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. She now lives in Bath, where she works as an illustrator and designer. Love Is Real is her first illustrated picture book.

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