Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gliori (Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep) here explores anxiety about the limits of a parent's love--especially whether it can survive a bout of pint-size bad behavior. With a gentle, rhyming text and illustrations that exude a snuggly warmth, she offers a reassuring, though ultimately cloying answer. As bedtime nears, a cute little fox named Small who's feeling "grim and grumpy" (and whose parent, Large, is pictured chatting on the phone) acts out by upturning the living room. When Large asks what's wrong, Small begins interrogating Large (neither character's gender is specified): "If I were a grumpy grizzly bear, would you still love me? Would you still care?" "I'd always love you, no matter what," responds Large. As in books like Lisa McCourt's I Love You, Stinky Face, the child ups the ante with unpleasant scenarios: what if Small were some other ostensibly uncuddly creature, like a squishy bug or a crocodile? "No matter what" comes the answer again--and Gliori's warmly comic depictions of Large's abiding affections drive home the unconditionality of parental love. Unfortunately, Gliori pushes her point a bit too hard with a closing treacly analogy to the light of stars: "We may be close, we may be far,/ but our love still surrounds us.../ wherever we are." Still, few authors wear their hearts on their sleeves so effectively. Ages 2-6. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jeanne K. Pettenati J.D.
This lovely poem succinctly explains the concept of unconditional love to very young children. Small tests Large by posing hypothetical situations in which he feels that he may lose her love. Large assures him with tender, loving verse that her love is always present, whether they are together or far away from each other. She also lets him know that love can be mended "with time together, a smile, and a kiss...." The bright illustrations carry the story along and have enough detail for careful study. This book would be a thoughtful addition to a child's library. Parents will enjoy the soothing tone and strong message. Readers looking for a book similar to Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney will find it here. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.
PreS-Feeling grumpy, Small, a little fox, has a tantrum that turns the living room topsy-turvy, after which he questions Large about the resiliency and endurance of his parental love-"If I were a grumpy grizzly bear,/would you still love me?/Would you still care?" or "...if I turned into a squishy bug,/would you still love me and give me a hug?" Ever patient, Large reassures him that "I'd always love you,/no matter what...we may be close, we may be far,/but our love still surrounds us.../wherever we are." The charming watercolor illustrations show warm golds and browns with candlelight and fireside indoors and the cold, blue-and-gray night outside. The rhyming text and large, often double-page spreads make this book useful for story programs. There are many recognizable similarities in Small's world and that of a young child's-dinner in a high chair, bath time, bedtime stories, and favorite toys. Great for fans of Barbara Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991) or Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995).-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.