WHAT IS LOVE?
By: Mac Barnett
Illustrated by: Carson Ellis
Published: December 28, 2021
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
What does the word “love” mean to you? If I asked my kids they would have a completely different answer to that question then I would. I imagine they would say a big hug, their favorite meal being made for them, their favorite present under the tree on Christmas morning, or maybe memories of a favorite vacation.
A young boy asks his grandma what love is? Rather than answer him, she suggests he goes out into the world to find out. He comes across a fisherman and asks him. He answers, “Love is a fish.”, of course. The boy is baffled because he thinks fish are slimy and gross. How can that be love? The fisherman responds, “You do not understand”.
As the boy travels, he meets an actor, a cat, a dog, a carpenter, a farmer, and more. They all give him different answers to his question, What is love?”. One day, as the boy, now a man, returns home, he stands in the garden and finally realizes he knows the answer to the question.
The painted illustrations are quite lovely and the writing is lyrical. There is some repetition which would allow your child to quickly join you in the reading. After reading this with your child, you can ask them, what is love? A great conversation can be had learning what love means to you and to your child. This emotional story is timeless and can be kept in your library for generations.
Click HERE for downloadable resources to go along with reading this book.
Mac Barnett is the New York Times bestselling author of over 20 books for children, including Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, both winners of a Caldecott Honor and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. His picture books Leo: A Ghost Story and The Skunk were named two of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 2015 by the New York Times. He lives in Oakland. You can visit him at www.macbarnett.com.
Carson Ellis is the author and illustrator of the bestselling picture books Home and Du Iz Tak? and has illustrated countless books for children. She lives on a farm in Oregon with her husband, two sons, and numerous animals.