Thursday, February 14, 2019

Review - I Love You Already!

I Love You Already! (Bear & Duck #2)
by Jory John
illustrated by Benji Davies
Date: 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the creators of Goodnight Already!

Bear can't wait to spend a pleasant day alone.

But Duck wants to hang out.

Will Bear ever get to relax by himself?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm not sure what to make of this one. It's basically the age-old battle between introvert and extrovert. There's nothing wrong with the two types being friends, of course, but Duck's single-mindedness is kind of off-putting. He doesn't get the cues from Bear, and simply will not take "no" for an answer. All Bear wants to do is spend some quiet time alone, but there's Duck, quacking in his ear and being a general nuisance. When Duck suggests that Bear doesn't like him much, Bear reassures him that he does... which makes things even worse. Duck becomes even more insufferable.

I'm not sure what the message here is supposed to be. Bear can't win. If he tries to be a good friend, he just encourages Duck. If he were to say, "No, I don't like you. Go away, you annoying bird," he'd hurt Duck's feelings. There's really no resolution to the dilemma, which I would've liked to see in a children's book. Introverted kids are likely going to encounter such situations, and as it is, the message is basically to put up with your annoying extrovert friends, even if they're invading your space and grating on your nerves. It would've been nice for the book to show them other options for dealing with people like Duck, other than not answering the door.

The illustrations are colourful and a little bit retro. I liked seeing Duck's and Bear's houses, and the pages in the beginning when the two animals are getting ready for their day are cute. But I'm not sure if the illustrations really save the somewhat-weak story.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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