Friday, May 7, 2010

ahhhh l'amour

Occasionally, one grows weary of reading YA romance (so much stress over 1st kisses!), and it can be really refreshing to see love as meant for the younger, less angst-ridden set. Below are two 2010 books about l'amour for ages 3-6.

Henry in Love (by Peter McCarty) follows kitten Henry on a very normal day, waking up and getting ready for school, and then pining for Chloe, the loveliest (bunny) girl in his class. They play tag together, and after recess Henry is delighted to find that he has been reseated next to Chloe by their teacher. When Henry looks at Chloe, he sees her suspended in a field of pink blossoms. At snacktime, he gives her the blueberry muffin he's been excited to eat since morning. He trades her for a carrot, an agreement that seems to suit both Henry and Chloe nicely. It's amazing that there's something this sweet that doesn't immediately put you in a diabetic coma.

Written by a husband and wife team (Randall and Peter de Seve), The Duchess of Whimsy is an imaginitive version of the standard tale of romance in which opposites attract. The Earl of Norm loves the Duchess of Whimsy, and tries (and fails) at all manners of wooing her. But he's just not cut out to be whimsical, and the Duchess continues to ignore him. It's not until they both attend an ill-planned fete (for which no food has been prepared) that the Duchess sees what the Earl has to offer: the simple, but delectable grilled cheese sandwich. After that, the two are pleased to learn they actually have many things in common. Peter's illustrations are so evocative (his career as an animator is evident) and the characters' faces are delightfully expressive: we can see the Duchess's delight and the Earl's earnest love clearly. I feel like I know so many couples who remind me, just a little, of the couple depicted here, that I cannot help but love it.

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