LOVE – Picture Book Review

Love is a 2018 picture book by Newberry Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña. It is illustrated by Loren Long and was published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons.

LOVEI have huge respect for both the author and illustrator of Love. But I’m confused by the picture book itself.

The publisher describes the picture book as a celebration of love depicting the many ways we experience it. But I’m not every spread does that.

I think perhaps I’m not thinking in the right direction or something. For instance, this page of text has me confused:


Love, too, is the smell of crashing waves, and a train whistling blindly in the distance,            and each night the sky above your trailer turns the color of love.

I’m having a lot of trouble envisioning that as celebrating or depicting love. Yes, the artwork on that spread shows me a loving family living a modest lifestyle. But the text and the illustration just don’t come together as a complete package in my mind.

Then, there is the double spread that shows a woman crying, a little boy hiding under a piano, furniture in disarray and a man walking out the door. The text says:
But it’s not only stars that flame out, you discover.
     It’s summers, too.
     And friendships.
     And people.

How does this celebrate or depict love? There are several more spreads that get the same reaction from me.

So, if I may boldly ask for a favor, would you read Love and leave a comment that will help me visualize de la Peña’s vision?

Thanks so much!

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