Laura Krauss Melmed is author of Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z, also illustrated by Frane Lessac; I Love You As Much . . . , illustrated by Henri Sorensen; and the critically acclaimed The Rainbabies, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C. Henri Sorensen is the illustrator of I Love You As Much . . . , also by Laura Krauss Melmed; Wishes for You by Tobi Tobias; and The Gift of the Tree by Alvin Tresselt. He lives in Denmark with his wife and two daughters.
PreS-Gr 1-Written in quatrains that break into couplets across each double page, this lullaby rhyme catalogues various animals and their offspring, describing each mother's testament of love. The mountain nanny goat says, "`I love you as much as the mountain is steep'"; the camel says, "`I love you as much as the desert is dry.'" The book ends with a full quatrain of love poetry from a woman to her newborn child. Sorensen's paintings are large and bright, spanning double-page spreads and extending to the edge of each page, with full backgrounds and panoramic views that enhance the animal characters. The deep tones, well-lit landscapes (which contrast effectively with the darkness of the final picture), and the multiple layers of opaque paint suggest a formality of portraiture that is not usually seen in children's books. The text, which is discretely tucked away in the corners of the pages where it does not interrupt the effect of the illustration, is set in a decorative italic font. The potential for sentimentality is certainly present, but Melmed carefully avoids the cute and tearful. While reading this book is certainly a satisfying experience, full of pathos and meaning for parents, it's likely to appeal more to them than to their children.-Ruth K. MacDonald, Quinnipiac College, Hamden, CT