Top positive review
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This "Sweetheart Gift Edition" was worth the (long) wait!
on January 6, 2017
When I'd ordered this precious "Sweetheart Gift Edition" on Amazon last August, it was in hopes of it being one of the books we gave our youngest grandson on his 2nd birthday in September (or at least by Christmas!) Originally published in 1994, I don't know what the issues were with the delayed publication date of this gift edition (moved back to 12/27/16 - it didn't make it into our hands until 12/30/16), but even though we were disappointed not to receive it sooner, it was worth the wait! Such a clean look to the pearlescent cover, beautifully accented with the title and design element on the bottom of the front cover printed in silver (as is the quote on the back cover, "I love you right up to the moon - and back.") The soft color palette the illustrator uses is such a nice complement to the simplicity of the words and the story - nice and soothing to read to a youngster prior to a nap or at bedtime, and just the right size (6-1/2" x 7-1/2")... just make sure you're aware that this particular copy is NOT a board book with thick pages (and no pop ups or pull tabs.) Nice little encircled area inside with three lines where you can inscribe your own dedication to the recipient.
The story itself is my favorite part. Who knows at what age a tiny little person begins to comprehend what the word "love" means? I'm sure they begin to understand the concept as soon as they arrive, through a parent's (or other caregiver's) tender touches, kisses, hugs and smiles as they say the words. I can say without a doubt that the first utterance of "I love you, Grandma" by one of our grandkids has always been such a tender memory for me, as you can just sense that they're trying to find words to express how they're feeling (safe, happy, content) - just like Little Nutbrown Hare is trying to express to Big Nutbrown Hare in the story. Seems each time he attempts to quantify his love in terms he can grasp (as wide as his arms can stretch, as high as he can reach with his front paws - or his back paws, while doing a handstand! - or as high as he can hop or as far as he can see), his dad is always able to stretch wider/higher, see farther, etc., in quantifying his own love for his son. When he finally comes up with "I love you right up to the MOON" as the furthest thing he can imagine, his wise dad lets it go at that as the little fellow drifts off to sleep... before whispering with a knowing smile, "I love you right up to the moon - AND BACK."
What Little Nutbrown Hare doesn't know yet is that our capacity to give love only grows as we age, coming to a progressively greater understanding of what the word means by experiencing ALL that's involved in the intimate tapestry of loving someone. As an older woman, I can now weave into that tapestry the recognition of how beautiful it is to receive the earliest expressions of love from a grandchild - there's nothing better in this world. And for me, that's what this little story represents. Perfect.