From School Library Journal
PreSchool-A slightly offbeat approach to the familiar topic of parental love. Lawler's verses are simple but the images evoked are sometimes unexpected. Kisses are characterized as colors, pebbles, comets, flowers, raindrops, acorns, snowflakes, and blankets. In each case, abundance is the norm. "If kisses were colors, you'd see every one/of the bands of a rainbow that shines in the sun./If kisses were pebbles, your beach would be lined/with stones by the millions, of all shapes and kinds." Jay's distinctive artwork, "created using alkyd oil paint on paper with crackling varnish," amplifies the verses. Unusual portraits show a pensive pebble, a smiling flower, a welcoming acorn. In other illustrations, anthropomorphic animal children dance together under a rainbow, collect pebbles on a beach, etc. A human mother and child appear on the first page and the last. For adults drawn to Jay's imaginative artwork and/or Lawler's sweetly expressed affection, this book provides an interesting alternative to books like Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995). It's unclear, however, whether its quiet whimsy will have broad child appeal.Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. Lawler successfully transforms the often quoted "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride" into a tender picture book of musings directed to very young children. Rhymed couplets pose the question, "If kisses were . . . " for colors, pebbles, comets, flowers, raindrops, acorns, snowflakes, and blankets, ending with a mother's kisses: "My kisses are colors, and raindrops that flow, and pebbles, and acorns, and comets that glow. . . . " The soft, stylized oil paintings with crackling varnish resemble folk art and create a warmhearted feeling as five animals--a penguin, an elephant, a goose, a rabbit, and a pig--act out the suppositions. Endpapers show Mom and the animals pushing baby carriages. Little ones may not comprehend the metaphors, but they'll nestle into this fresh, quiet, affectionate story that may inspire some children to think of their own "what ifs." Julie CumminsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved