Parents' Guide to


By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Gorgeous book about love shows family worry and pain, too.

Love Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Hateful contents!

age 16+

Drastic heartache and some racism talks!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This book about love, featuring folks of different races, offers gentle instruction in how to look for love in all the right places by noticing it coursing through everyday life. In Love, families and neighbors connect and have fun and support one another in simple yet deeply meaningful ways. Author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Loren Long collaborate to present examples that are sweetly touching. A dad catches a bus at dawn for work, while an older brother offers his little brother a simple breakfast. A boy in a wheelchair offers a hot dog from a street vender to a homeless man on a park bench. Four uncles toss horseshoes in the shade of backyard palms. A schoolgirl drops a dollar in the guitar case of "a man in rags outside the subway station" who's playing "love notes that lift into the sky like tiny beacons of light."

The gorgeous illustrations are full of tender detail. In one particularly affecting spread, the text says, "the face staring back in the bathroom mirror -- this, too is love," as we stare into a young girl's soulful eyes. Long and de la Peña wisely don't shy away from acknowledging that life has its challenges, and for some kids, the challenges are serious. The few pages about strife might be confusing, presenting more questions than answers. What exactly's happening with that family gathered worriedly around a TV? ( Long and de la Peña have referred to this as the "9/11 page," where a mother tries to block something horrific on the screen to protect a toddler from seeing it.) Or the one where a boy is cowering under the piano while a man stumbles away from a whiskey glass? (De la Peña has said there was addiction and divorce in his family.) Families can talk about those scenes as they otherwise get lost in the lovely, lyrical text and art, and the larger message about love.

Book Details

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