Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Love You More - A Review

As I removed the book from its packaging, I ran my hands over the dust cover, introducing myself to the book. I felt the slick raised form of the mother and child transition into the rougher, yet softer, image of the rolling hills in the background. My expectations were high for this book to be special, not only because I had been looking for a book with this message, but also because I knew the background story and had read of the author's journey through life. As I cracked the cover for the first time, I held my breath in hope and wonderment.

I Love You More not only met my expectations, it exceeded them. Laura Duksta guides you through this expression of love with wonderful words carried along by rhyme and rhythm. The images illustrated by Karen Keesler are full of color yet are simple and soft. The experience of reading this book is almost like a hug in itself!

I Love You More is a flip book - or a book that starts from either end and meets in the middle. The 'front' half is from the mother's perspective on love in response to her son asking how much she loves him. With phrases like, "I love you longer than the longest path ever found. I love you prettier than the prettiest flower ever found," this pulled at my heartstrings and dampened my eyes. My daughter kept reaching out and rubbing the colorful pictures.

When we reached the middle, we turned the book around and started the journey again from the son's perspective when answering his mother's question of how much he loved her. My favorite phrases from his perspective read, "I love you longer than the longest lollipop ever lasted. I love you louder than the loudest rocketship ever blasted." As we reached the center of the book again, I felt a sense of wonderment, love, and completeness. This book is perfect!

I Love You More is the product of Laura Duksta’s incredible personal journey in taking her biggest challenge and turning it into her biggest blessing. At the age of 11, she lost all of her hair to alopecia areata. After 19 years of wearing wigs and pretending to be someone she wasn’t, Laura made a decision on her 30th birthday to throw a coming out party as “The Bald Chick” and never looked back. While it took her many years to love herself and to allow others to love her, the lessons she learned along the way are as heartwarming as they are inspiring. She believes that when people know they are loved, anything is possible. Her mission is to share her story so that others might see that no matter what challenges they are facing, anything is possible with love. She is now fulfilling this mission through her book, school programs and inspirational talks.

Illustrator Karen Keesler earned the nickname “Hippie” from her love for people and the planet. Upon hearing about Laura’s book, Karen took a bag of pastel chalks that she bought at a yard sale for 50 cents and drew the perfect pictures for the text. Together they become known as the author and illustrator dynamic duo, Hippie and The Bald Chick.

I already have plans to buy several copies of this book for friends and family as gifts for the holidays. We will continue to read this every night before bed. What more perfect way can there be to tuck my daughter in feeling full of love and joy?

***Disclaimer: This is a free review. No money was exchanged or additional offers made in return for completing this review. The only transaction was the receipt of a reviewer's copy of the book. If you would like your book reviewed, please email me at asumers [at] gmail [dot] com.


Monnik said...

oooh, it sounds good! i think i'll have to get it, even though my youngest is venturing into early chapter books.

Cecily R said...

Hooray for great books! I am so discouraged some times when I get my kids' book orders from school. So many of the books in those are crap. I'm always happy to hear about a good one I don't know about. Thanks for the review!

Heather said...

Thanks for the review! Sounds like a unique and wonderful book. I can't wait to read it. We love books.

Beverly said...

Well she is beautiful. Good review too.


Annikke said...

This sounds like an awesome book! I added it to my wishlist!!

Amy said...

Got it, reviewed it, loved it!!

Kelly Mahoney said...

How cute! My favorite as my kid was "I love you forever."