A Girl and a Garden Gnome

Lisa Doucet reviews I Love You Like... by Lori Joy Smith (Owlkids)

I Love You Like…
Lori Joy Smith
Owlkids Books
(Ages 3-7)

The opening pages of this delightful picure book from PEI author/illustrator Lori Joy Smith wordlessly depict a little girl/garden sprite finding a garden gnome… and it is clearly love at first sight. She picks him up in her arms, hugs him tightly and sets off on an outdoor adventure with her newfound friend. As the two traverse forests, fields and beaches, our protagonist keeps finding new ways to declare her love: “I love you like forests love a seed, like a plant loves to grow, like flowers love the sun, like the grass loves a breeze.”

The duo make their way through raindrops and snow, springtime forests and blue summer skies, highlighting all the love to be found in our great, wide world, where “raindrops love a puddle” and “quiet loves the snow,” leading ultimately to “like a pillow likes to sleep, like the moon loves the night.”

With its gentle, lilting cadence and its creative professions of love, this book is a lovely, reassuring choice for bedtime, or anytime at all. The illustrations are playful and cheery, featuring smiley-faced trees and clouds and woodland creatures.

The two new friends play in puddles, watch the clouds and hide in the snow during the course of their adventures. Young readers will love the quaint depictions of the two enjoying the wonders of nature.

With a full palette of prettily muted colours, the joyful energy contained in the illustrations is a pleasing complement to the eccentric feel of the text.

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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