Parents' Guide to

XO, OX: A Love Story

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Sweet, clear-eyed look at how honesty helps love grow.

XO, OX: A Love Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Harmful message

This book tells me that: 1. Women are snobbish and vain 2. If a woman says no, you (a male), should persist 3. Stalking, basically, is a-ok 4. It’s ok to point out a woman’s flaws 5. Even if you do, she will still not be able to resist you. I wish I had read this before I read it to my boys. I won’t be reading it to them again. We are trying to raise them to understand consent: no means no. This applies to “funny” picture books as well as in real life. I’m surprised a publisher read this and thought these were ok messages to bring to a young audience, let alone an adult one. Common Sense Media, you need to create a “Encourages Disrespect” button.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

For clumsy, kindly Ox and glamorous Gazelle, it certainly isn't love at first sight -- but their slowly evolving relationship turns out to be a far more romantic (and appealing) love story. XO, OX: A Love Story shows earlier assumptions and romantic notions giving way to more realistic, honest communication, with wonderful results. Amid the love and laughter are some great opportunities for talking with kids about kindness, empathy, and honesty.

Scott Campbell's watercolor-and-pencil artwork -- sage greens, coppery pinks, and rich browns -- warmly complements Adam Rex's charming letters. The ending might seem somewhat open-ended, but attentive readers will appreciate the change in the endpaper design: Instead of gazing in mirrors as she did at the book's start, at the end she's joining Ox to paint, rake leaves, enjoy music, and even sip from matching mugs. Awwwwww.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate