Heart-y! Consider Love by Sandra Boynton
Best-selling author-illustrator Sandra Boynton's little hardback Valentine's card, Consider Love, (Little Simon, 2013) gets off to a conventional start with its claim that love is all around us. But her wry take on the varieties of love shows through right away in her trademark illustrations of quirky animals, beginning with her own take on a marble statue of the Grecian god of love:
Obviously this little versified essay on love is not just for toddlers, although her familiar slapstick-funny animals have their own charm for the youngest, as Boynton goes on to set up her own humorous dichotomy of different types of love.
LOVE THAT IS SHALLOW.
LOVE THAT IS DEEP.
LOVE EXTRAVAGANT, (An elephant presents his love with a complete apple tree, roots and all)
LOVE, WELL, CHEAP (An ape offers his mate a used banana peel.)
Boynton has a lot of fun with her contrasting style of lovers: the over-zealous beaver who carves out heart-shaped bites on tree trunks and the over-jealous tiger who hides in the grass and grabs his lady love's ankles when another tiger comes along. Then there are two pigs, relaxing side by side (comfortable), and two porcupines, warily considering the off-putting prospects of a hug (problematical!)
It's all good and it's all love, Boynton says, as she brings it home in her final couplet:
LOVE THAT'S STEADY AND DEVOTED AND TRUE--
CONSIDER MY LOVE FOR ADORABLE YOU!
From its cover with the cat with a bouquet of heart-shaped balloons to its last lines that celebrate love enduring, what's not to like in Boynton's silly but serious look at love, all wrapped up in a bright new edition perfect for all ages? As Publishers Weekly puts it, "An appealing menagerie of Boynton's inimitable animal characters court and cavort through these buoyant pages, demonstrating how love 'comes in every shape, and style.'"