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I love you because You're You

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From School Library Journal reS-K-Suitable for a slightly older audience than Susan Heyboer O'Keefe's Love Me, Love You (Boyds Mills, 2001), this title also invites comparison with Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995). Baker's text catalogs a child's many moods while promising that none of them will change the way the mother feels about her offspring. Appealing, full-color illustrations of an anthropomorphic mother fox and her kit are done in McPhail's trademark style. The focus in each picture is squarely on the pair. The cozy cottage setting, vaguely old-fashioned dress, and low-tech playthings and pursuits (a ball and a toy airplane for the child; sharing cookies, picking flowers, and knitting for the mom) emphasize the timelessness of Baker's reassuring message. Written as a series of rhyming couplets, one per picture, the text occasionally has a singsong quality. However, it succeeds admirably at evoking the unconditional love of parent for child. And that's probably all young listeners will really care about. Make room on your shelves for one more sweet story in this genre.

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