Review of Cinnamon Bun, I Love You 1

Cinnamon Bun, I Love You 1 Cinnamon Bun, I Love You 1
by Amy Schwartz; illus. by the author
Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp.
4/24    9781665913119    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781665913126    $10.99

Sharing a cinnamon bun, watering a flower, gazing at the starry sky: these small happy moments and more make up the fabric of everyday love between children and caregivers in this appealing counting book. On each spread, a brightly painted numeral sits in the center of the verso, surrounded by delicately drawn, countable images (a single cinnamon bun, seven twinkling stars, etc.). On the opposite page, a rhyming couplet accompanies an engaging gouache and ink illustration; each vignette depicts a different child and grown-up pair absorbed in a gentle, playful interaction. The patterned text and warm, carefully composed imagery create a steady, cadenced movement from one to ten. In the final pages, before Schwartz reaches her finale—“I love you…ten!”—the nine children are reintroduced before they gather at the tenth child’s home for a toddler party, where heart-shaped cookies are served. Adorable? Absolutely, but the late Schwartz’s unfussy art style and keen eye for the tender, intimate scenes of a young child’s life feel decidedly sweet rather than saccharine. This simple read is ideal for sharing in a lap with the youngest readers and pre-readers—especially fans of Karen Katz or Meyers and Frazee’s Everywhere Babies (rev. 5/01).

From the May/June 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jessica Tackett MacDonald

Jessica Tackett MacDonald is a collection development librarian at the Boston Public Library, specializing in youth and teen collections. She holds masters degrees in library science and children’s literature from Simmons University.

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