Love Grows! Plant A Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
IT GOES LIKE THIS.
PLANTED A KISS.
Amy Krous Rosenthal's and Peter Reynolds' new Plant a Kiss (Harper, 2012) begins with a silly bit of wordplay, in which a girl "plants her kiss" in a freshly dug hole in the ground and tends it carefully, and ends with a sophisticated symbolic representation of love, a sparkly vaporous representation of the concept which drifts across the surrounding world. It's a kind of sleight of tongue and pen that manages to work, thanks to Rosenthal's carefully lean language and Reynolds' illustrative art, which, without a single kiss, buss, or smooch or smack, without a single hug, caress, squeeze, or embrace, manages to convey the essence of love in its most rarified state. Little Miss's gardening technique is equally spare.
No one expects much from her plantings, but amazingly love blooms, and Little Miss scoops the love up in her bright red bowl to give to all. The observers are not sure that such largess is well conceived.
"DON'T DARE! IT'S TOO RARE!"
But when all the love is given away, when our Little Miss returns...
Zen, Occam's razor, or a simple application of the theory of less is more, whatever, Rosenthal and Reynolds manage to carry off this picture of the way love grows in a little book that, shows that the more you give away, the more you get and, well, speaks volumes.