Love You Always, written by Eileen Spinelli with illustrations by Gillian Flint, is the latest gift book for new babies or for Christmas. The verses are gentle and the repetition is soothing. The book aims to communicate to the child that he or she is loved – always – but a host of family members. Mostly by Mama and Daddy.
But other family members are included. Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, and Uncle. Counsin and family friend even get a shout out. At first, this inclusion of extended family members is great. It is often rare to see Auntie and Uncle included in a children’s book. While the book seems to include a lot of the family tree, there is no inclusion of siblings or step-parents.
It seems to be focused on the traditional nuclear family.
And that becomes the book’s weakness. While it is candy-coated with sweetness, from the verses to the watercolor and crayon artwork, it lacks in significant diversity. In the midst of a sea of white and often blonde headed individuals, there are a few dark-skinned families.
Unlike God Paints the World and God Loves the World, from the same publisher as Love You Always, this book seems to reinforce stereotypes of boys and girls. And perhaps reading Love You Always right after reading God Paints and God Loves is why the lack of diversity is so striking.
Toddler J enjoys this fun read. And I enjoy her hearing that she is loved. . . . always.
You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:
Thanks to WorthyKids/Ideals for a review copy.