Review of I Love You like Yellow

I Love You like Yellow I Love You like Yellow
by Andrea Beaty; illus. by Vashti Harrison
Preschool    Abrams    48 pp.    g
3/22    978-1-4197-4807-3    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-6470-0056-1    $15.54

This bear-hug of a picture book features a series of similes that serve as declarations of love in various forms. Constructed in a first-person narrative in which the “I” switches from speaker to speaker, readers meet mothers, fathers, and grandparents; siblings and soon-to-be siblings; children with and without disabilities; people of differing ethnicities—a true diversity of characters. “I love you like yellow. / I love you like green,” we read. An adult and child explore outdoors during and after rain showers, lemony yellows and rich greens on display. Other pairs or trios move through their days, bonding as a family (baking cookies); dealing with disappointment (a child finishes last in a race); playing games; exploring the outdoors; dancing and reveling. Beaty’s rhyming couplets flow smoothly: “Like sunny. / Like shady. / Like gloomy. / Like gray. / From the breaking of dawn / till the end of the day.” Harrison brings a vibrant palette, loving care, and a tight focus to these tableaux; viewers are right there with the families, witnessing their moments together. The last of these features a caretaker (it could be a mother, aunt, grandparent, or other), awash in shades of moonlight blues, sending a child off to sleep “with a hug and a kiss.”

From the July/August 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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