Ways to Say I Love You

Ways to Say I Love You
Madeleine Cook and Fiona Lee
Oxford Children’s Books

The opening lines of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet 43 How Do I Love Thee? sprang to mind as I read this picture book, which is a celebration of love, and in particular familial love. Madeleine Cook explores some of the multitude of ways love is expressed: it might be the tender, gentle way in which a parent holds a baby or tiny child; perhaps it’s a caress; a shared experience of the natural world when out for a walk. Sometimes it’s being there with a hug when a child is upset, or a playful tickle at feeding time and a book shared at bedtime.

Being shown love helps a small child to develop self belief and the confidence to forge a path in life. Those things come when love is shown by a listening ear and a readiness to talk things over; also through helping a youngster to learn basic life skills, as well as being supportive when a child takes an important big step such as starting nursery or school.

Those who are shown love from the outset are most likely to be loving towards others as they become more independent; love is a choice and a decision. But one thing is certain, love is conveyed differently by countless different people and that is portrayed so well in Fiona Lee’s diverse characters.

Could it possibly be that love has the potential to bind us all together – if only …

This hug of a book is a delight to share.

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