A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hoda Kotb, co-anchor of the Today show, was inspired to write I've Loved You Since Forever when she adopted her baby daughter. The field of kids' books about love is crowded, and parents can find many excellent choices, including books that are universal and ones that incorporate adoption. This one doesn't address the subject of adoption directly, so has appeal for all families, though the idea that parent and child shared a connection before birth might have special meaning for adoptive families. The book has simple text and warm art picturing animal parents and babies, with a human mom and her baby capping the story.
What's the story?
The text in I'VE LOVED YOU SINCE FOREVER lists a series of natural animal activities to express the idea that the love between a parent and child transcends time. "I’ve loved you since forever. Before birds flew over rainbows, and monkeys swung on trees, there was you ... and there was me." At the end of the book, parent and child come together when "you and I turned into we." The text is paired with illustrations of the animals mentioned and their young.
Is it any good?
New parents brimming with love for their little ones and looking for ways to express it can find many kids' books about love, and this one by a celebrity who adopted suggests a timeless connection. I've Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb travels well-trodden kid book territory. The long list of books for kids about love includes some excellent ones that focus on love for an adopted child -- for instance, I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis and Jane Dyer, and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell. Kotb's book opens with a somewhat generic mention of a bird flying over a rainbow, and the rhythm of the text is a bit awkward, with some near-rhymes veering slightly off track ("trees" and "bees" with "we"). But it expresses the touching and reassuring message that parent and child were connected before birth, "waiting for the day our stars would cross and you and I turned into we."
Illustrator Suzie Mason adds warmth with her sweet pictures of animal parents and babies, showing a monkey riding on its mom's back, elephants twining trunks, a mother bird building her nest, and otters touching noses. To suggest the cosmic connection, she paints spreads of glistening night stars, underscoring the idea that parent and child, too, were up there twinkling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the message of love in I've Loved You Since Forever. How do you know that people in your family love you? How does your own parent show love?
How do the various animal parents in the pictures take care of their young and show love? How is that similar to humans?
Why do you think the art keeps coming back to pictures of the night sky with stars? What does that mean to you and to the mom and child in the book?
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