Honey, I Love
by Greenfield, Eloise; Gilchrist, Jan Spivey (ILT)

New, charming full-color illustrations from a Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator complement an enchanting, heartwarming poem about love and the simple joys of life, in a twenty-fifth anniversary edition of an inspirational title.

PreS-Gr. 2. Published originally as a poem in the compilation Honey, I Love, and Other Love Poems (1978), this warm verse gets new life in picture book version enhanced by Gilchrist's down-home illustrations. A little African American girl with a gap-toothed grin proclaims she loves a lot of things: the way her Southern cousin talks, splashing in the swimming pool, making the "laughing" sound with her friend. The poetry has a charming cadence: "I hold her arm and kiss it / 'cause it feels so soft and warm / Honey, let me tell you that / I LOVE my mama's arm / I love to kiss my mama's arm." The picture that illustrates that verse is particularly nice. The watercolor art, which features children who look as if they could be living down the block, will draw readers close. ((Reviewed February 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

paper: 0-06-009124-XIffy art cramps this 25th-anniversary reissue of the joyful title poem from Greenfield's first collection (1978), illustrated by the Dillons. As timeless as ever, the poem celebrates everything a child loves, from kissing Mama's warm, soft arm to listening to a cousin from the South, " 'cause every word he says / just kind of slides out of his mouth." "I love a lot of things / a whole lot of things," the narrator concludes, "And honey, / I love ME, too." The African-American child in the pictures sports an updated hairstyle and a big, infectious grin-but even younger viewers will notice that the spray of cool water that supposedly "stings my stomach" isn't aimed there, and that a comforter on the child's bed changes patterns between pages. More problematic, though, is a dropped doll that suddenly acquires a horrified expression that makes it look disturbingly like a live baby, and the cutesy winged fairy that hovers over the sleeping child in the final scene. The poem deserves better. (Picture book/poetry. 6-8) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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