I Am Love

Book review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
I Am Love Book Poster Image
Charming book in popular series has a big heart.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Models social-emotional learning in text and appealing pictures: self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, personal responsibility, and decision making.

Positive Messages

I am love, you are love, we are love. Love is compassion, tenderness, comfort, gratitude, self-care, creative, understanding, remembering, connection, and more. Listen, don't say a word; be there, be present. Choose words and actions carefully. There's always something you can do to help someone or make things better. Love helps us weather the storms of life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main character demonstrates a variety ways to show love. They show tenderness to a sad friend by listening, with kind words and a hug, among other acts of the heart. No gender pronouns are used in the text. The main character has light brown skin, short, multi-colored hair and wears blue clothes and a pink jacket. Two supporting characters wear dresses: One is a Black child with curly, purple hair, and the other is White and has long, blond hair. There is also a brown-skinned kid with short black hair peeking out from under a prayer cap who's dressed in pants, a vest, and jacket.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Am Love is part of the best-selling I Am series from author Susan Verde and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. The thoughtful main character is a self-aware messenger of love. When a friend is in a dark place, they ask, "What can I do to help let the light back in?" and model good listening, self-care, and forgiveness, among other acts of the heart. Featuring a diverse cast with a variety of genders, skin colors, and even pink, blue, and purple hair, kids will see something of themselves reflected in these pages. This book emphasizes that there's always something you can do to help a friend in need and that love helps us weather the storms of life.

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What's the story?

In I AM LOVE, a love-filled main character with blue, purple, and pink hair sees a friend "going through a storm." They take a mindful moment with their hand on their heart and eyes closed before offering the friend an umbrella for the rain. The clouds part and the friends sit down to talk. A hug and the present of a flower help the friend feel not so glum. Illustrated and text-supported examples follow this opening that show love as self-care, a mistake being forgiven and fixed, remembering, and connection with other people (and even a cute dog) in tiny gestures of goodwill. End pages include an author's note, heart-opening yoga poses, and a heart meditation.

Is it any good?

This sweet, heartfelt book may be heavy on yoga teacher platitudes (the author does teach yoga), but the positive messages are hard to find fault with and Peter H. Reynold's art is lovely as always. The "Love is…" refrain of the text adds a nice rhythm to this as a read aloud. I Am Love doesn't shy away from the reality that kids will face hard situations ("storms"), which makes room for young readers who've already faced such challenges. Many parents will appreciate the diverse group of relatable kid characters. Featuring a main character who isn't clearly a girl or a boy means that kids of all genders can see themselves on the page.

Though all the friends come together at the end, there isn't a unifying story being told here and some pages feel shoehorned in, like the gratitude and self-care spread and a page about remembering loved ones lost. Aside from that, kids are likely to enjoy this book for its relatable characters and bright, engaging art, while parents will love its gentle lessons on love.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ways love is shown in I Am Love. In what ways did you experience love today? How did you show love for yourself and others?

  • The book begins when the main character sees a friend "going through a storm." What do you think that means? What kinds of "storms" have you faced? Who can you go to for help when you feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry?

  • The main character says, "Love is taking care of me." How do you keep your mind and body safe and healthy?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love love books and empathy tales

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