Me? What Do You Love About You? by Karen Lechelt
"WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOU?"
A white cat poses an interesting question to a girl, and gets a surprising answer.
"I LOVE MY EARS BECAUSE YOUR WHISKERS TICKLE!"
The girl, nattily attired in a pink dress with a gray sweater, repeats the cat's question to a leggy pink water bird, who quizzically responds with a pun:
"I LOVE MY LEGS BECAUSE I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU!"
If the girl is looking for a straight answer, she's not exactly getting one, but she perseveres.
A hamster cheekily says he loves his puffy checks because he can store up a passel of kisses for her.
A beaver remarks that he loves his teeth because with them he can change the world, and he fells a tree to prove it. A reindeer loves his antlers because his feathered friends perch there and keep him from feeling lonely. A squid loves his tentacles because they make it easy to hug himself.
Everybody has an unexpected and puzzling reply, until at last the the cat repeats the question of the day, and the girl, too, responds with a enigmatic answer.
"I LOVE MY ...SELF, AND I LOVE YOU!"
Love is no doubt a complex thing, in Karen Lechelt's What Do You Love About You? (Bloomsbury, 2016), in which the author's premise suggests that love is the good side of give and take, all the while keeping the tone lighthearted and fanciful, with a giraffe's reaching for the stars, and a spouting whale tail-walking, singing and dancing in his own rain.
The author brings it all home, as the animals become plush toys piled on a bed where the girl and cat snuggle up for sweet and loving dreams. Artist Lechelt's illustrations are piquant, with animals sporting snappy, preppy outfits of pink and gray, executed with black-line drawings and flat, matte palette. "... a charming bedtime read-aloud," says Children's Literature.