Love Is
By Diane Adams
Illustrated by Claire Keane

Perfect for Valentine's Day—or any tender moment—this story of a girl and a duckling who share a touching year together will melt hearts old and young. In this tenderly funny book, girl and duckling grow in their understanding of what it is to care for each other, discovering that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding tight. Children and parents together will adore this fond exploration of growing up while learning about the joys of love offered and love returned.  Love Is is an Book of the Month.



I Can Do It Myself!
, School Library Journal
Various family members tell how their hands will help a baby as he grows. Two hands will “rock you to sleep,” “raise you up high,” “help you squeeze lemons for juice,” and so on. All end with the same couplet: “For you are my baby; I’ll never be far./I’ll love you, think of you, wherever you are.” The story starts with an infant and ends with a toddler. The text is written in carefully metered anapestic tetrameter with end rhyme, which gives it an easy rocking feel when reading it aloud. Each stanza is narrated by a different person. The soft ink and watercolor sketches are done mostly in black and white; the only colors are touches of yellow and pink. This sweet book would make a good choice for baby programs or a one-on-one read. Pair it with Mem Fox’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (Harcourt, 2008) and Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever.

"…Hayashi's illustrative riffs add to the charm with her soft-palette watercolors… Children will appreciate this relatable tale with likable characters."

"...Hayashi s illustrations reveal the reality of each scene with Emily s so-called help in the classroom. The illustrations will make good discussion starters with young students as they observe, for example, Emily s overactive exuberance to help around Ms. Glenn s classroom... "

KIRKUS REVIEW, Feb. 1, 2009
I Can Do It Myself!Emily Pearl is just big enough to terrorize the household with her can-do attitude: “And if just for one second her mom tries to help, / Emily says, ‘I can do it myself!’ ” As in this simple refrain, approximate and exact rhymes roll rhythmically along while Hayashi’s watercolor, pen and colored-pencil art tells the real story. The text treats Emily as if she were the big girl she thinks she is, while the illustrations reveal a loving environment where a wise (and sometimes exasperated) mother allows her confident daughter to learn. Emily begins pouring herself juice through a funnel into a glass, uses a toilet-paper roll and clothespins to curl her hair, plays trombone upside down, delivers cat food on the back of her fast-moving remote-control car, until bedtime, when the shadows fall and she welcomes Mom’s hug and a good story. The interplay between art and text will work well for the group reader who can enjoy the spontaneous giggles that will erupt at storytime or for one-on-one in-the-lap fun. (Picture book. 2-5)

Zoom!“It takes a dinosaur-themed roller coaster to show a kid that he has the right stuff. After passing muster with the "You must be this tall" sign, the young hero climbs aboard—albeit more reluctantly than his eager dad (who, in typical goofy dad fashion, is wearing socks with his sandals). In Luthardt's (Larabee) paintings, however, the duo undergoes a mien switch after the coaster's first big drop. For the text, "Sailing at the speed of sound./ Zooming, racing toward the ground," Dad gets an "anywhere but here" look on his face, while his son responds with the wide grins and arms-over-head posture of an aficionado. Newcomer Adams' story unspools in singsongy couplets with plenty of heavy-duty action words ("Lurching, tilting up again/ Jerking, rumbling round the bend"). …Luthardt’s amusement-park palette and boldly geometric acrylics pop with energy, and he's particularly good at capturing the swooping black track. …it's a triumph that youngsters won't mind reliving several times over.”

Awards & Distinctions:

  • Two Hands to Love You printed in Japanese and Korean
  • School Library Review for Two Hands to Love You
  • I Can Do It Myself! printed in Korean
  • Kirkus and School Library Journal reviews for I Can Do It Myself!
  • Parents’ Choice Recommendation for I Can Do It Myself!
  • Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Nomination for I Can Do It Myself!
  • Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List for I Can Do It Myself!
  • Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List for Zoom!
  • Minnesota Read Aloud Book Award Nominee for Zoom!
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