LOVE – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Spread the love

This is the PERFECT picture book to celebrate Valentine’s day next week!

Title: LOVE

Written by: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethof

Publisher: Running Press Kids, October 2018

Ages: 3-7

Themes: love


Love is … a fancy dinner.


What is love? Can you only express it in fancy meals, greeting cards, and heart-shaped chocolates? Kids will find love everywhere in this delightful book. It can be found in everyday moments such as baking cookies with grandma, notes from Mom in your lunchbox, or a family singing together on a car trip, and it isn’t always what you expect!

With delightful illustrations by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff and sweetly simple prose by award-winning author Stacy McAnulty, this is the perfect book to teach children what love means, why it’s important, and how they can spread the love in their daily lives. (publisher)

Why I like this book:

Love can expressed in so many ways. Just as with her previous book, Brave, with very few words, Stacy and her broad-thinking illustrator capture so much in these heartwarming depictions of this daily word. This colorfully illustrated story has a diverse cast of families and their animals life sharing how they demonstrate love to close family and people in the community in need. For example a fancy dinner is illustrated as a little girl serving a heaped bowl of dog food to her puppy. Or poetry is illustrated as “Cool bro” sketched in the sand by a younger sibling. 

I would love to know if there were any illustrator notes submitted with this very sparse manuscript!


This story is great for beginner readers. Parents and caregivers can share this story of love with young listeners and create an activity with art so they can share their expressions of love with the people they care about.

HousingForest.Com has a great and simple HEART craft activity.

This post is part of a series by authors and children’s literature bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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10 Responses to LOVE – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Patricia Nozell says:

    I haven’t read this one yet, but after your review, I will! You have me intrigued by sparse text & the fancy meal being served to a pup.

    • Joanna says:

      Really sparse is not my forte (maybe because I write novels too) and I am always in awe of those who manage it so skillfully.

  2. Gabi Snyder says:

    PERFECT choice for Valentine’s Day! LOVE this book!

  3. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Leave it to Stacy McAnulty to write a non-sappy book about LOVE. She’s got the touch. I’ll bet the art notes were longer than the text, something that other books like “Mine!” were known for. Adding this one to my TBR pile…..

  4. I haven’t seen this book, but I love both the work of both author and illustrator. I like how Stacy focuses on spontaneous and simple moments and interactions! Great cover too!

  5. I love sparse text – definitely will keep an eye out for this one. It must be quite the book, as it’s featured in two reviews today! Great activity – is there a link?

  6. Keila says:

    We sure need more books like this! I too am in awe with books that use sparse text. Stacy is a master at it!

  7. Joanna, I too would love to know about illustrator notes! What a great activity you included! Thanks for highlighting this one.

  8. Beautiful concept. Yes were there illustrator notes? Thanks for sharing.

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