Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review - Always More Love

Always More Love
by Erin Guendelsberger
illustrated by AndoTwin
Date: 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

For readers of Don't Push the Button and Press Here comes an all new interactive story full of humor and sweetness. Always More Love is a heartwarming title and fun experience for families to share together about how the love for those special ones in your life only grows more and more each day. So what happens if you tap or squeeze the heart, or shake or flip the book? There's always more love.

I love you so much, but there's more in my heart.
How is that possible? Well, where do I start?

Tap my arms and legs to see
Just how much you mean to me.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I... don't get it.

I mean, I get that this book is trying to be like Don't Push the Button! Sort of. There's not a ton of "interactive" stuff, and what there is is kind of weak. Basically, this is just a prolonged rhyme told by a heart... and I think that's what's bugging me. Who is this heart supposed to be, and why does it keep saying it loves me? I don't even know it!

I thought maybe this would have more about diversity and inclusion (based on how the word "always" is coloured in the title), but aside from a brief mention of differences, there's not much about that. It's just this heart going on and on about how much it loves the reader.

Is it supposed to be the parent's heart? Or... is it just a disembodied organ that's eventually going to get charged with sexual harassment because it won't leave people alone?

I don't know. All I know is that I kind of wish there were a page with instructions on what the reader is supposed to do to make the repetitive heart stop saying it loves them. (I guess closing the book is as good a technique as any...)

Okay, in all seriousness, this isn't terrible, but I don't get the heart or what it's trying to accomplish. Trying to combine a poem about love with an interactive picture book that has kids flapping the volume in the air is just... odd. I'm sure there are some little kids who will take a fancy to this, but the adults who'll have to read it to them over and over might not be as enthused about it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Wonderland for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2 out of 5

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