Guest Reviewer, Jessica Smith and her daughter, four year-old Norah, are from Dracut, Massachusetts. For another review from Jessica, check back next week.
Reminiscent of Q-Bert from the popular 1980s arcade game, a colorful and adorably cute orange being peeks out from the bottom of the cover of Joost Elffers’ and Curious Pictures Do You Love Me? The other colorful characters, dubbed “Snuzzles,” in this simple and appealing storyline, take parent and child through one of the most enduring ties of parenthood: the unfailing love of a parent for his or her little one and the reminder to each of our children how special they are. As the inside flap indicates, “Here is a very little book that answers a very big question.” The book, for ages 2-5, highlights a time in a child’s life where they are opened up to various new experiences and sometimes scary new changes; the reminder that they are loved always and that we’d leave them “never ever” is the most telling part of this book.
The softness of the illustration is tender and sweet. My daughter Norah, having just turned four, particularly liked the bold, bright colors and loveable, “smooshy” animals. She giggled as two red and green Snuzzles encouraged their little orange guy to “snuzzle closer” for a kiss goodnight while going nose to nose. The orange Snuzzle from the cover seemingly tucked into the back flap of the book, sleeping soundly with its stuffed elephant and bear is a sweet surprise at the end.
A simple message from the heart of a parent to his or her child about wanting them forever and always being there to be held “snug and tight”, Elffers’s book is sure to become a quick favorite. Norah, ever my yardstick for measuring the likeability of a book, smiled as we finished and asked, “Can we read it again?”