Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Format: Hardcover picture book
What did you like about the book? An exuberant and colorful look at adoption as mom and dad tell the story of how their daughter entered their lives and how they have always shared a life filled with “crazy-much love.” The story opens with the little girl at kindergarten age, hearing the story of how her parents prepared for her arrival (painting the room, looking at her photo, flying to meet her) and how she quickly became the center of their family. It’s a mixed race family; Mom seems to be a person of color, Dad has bright orange hair and Baby Girl is possibly from Asia (her parents fly across the Atlantic to collect her.) A lively group of family and friends are on hand to celebrate her arrival. Highlights of toddlerhood follow: bathing, playing with the family dog, and then the first steps toward independence: riding a bike and climbing on the schoolbus. Sánchez’s freeflowing and strong digital artwork looks like it was created with a set of scribbly fat pencils over watercolors. I especially loved her use of shifting perspective, which makes each page a surprise. We see the parents dwarfed by a wall of paint choice. On another page, the baby girl zooms from small and cocooned in mom’s arms to large as she’s lifted high into the air. We peak over dad’s shoulder (large) across the grass at the baby (small) as she learns to walk. The sing-song text and the repetition of “crazy much love” are fated to earworm their way into any fan’s daily conversation.
Anything you didn’t like about it? No
To whom would you recommend this book? This is a nice updating of I Love You Like Crazy Cakes (2003) by Rose Lewis with illustrations by Jan Dyer. Although it is about an adoptive family, its theme of family love and togetherness will work for everyone.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books or in a parenting section if you have one.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: September 14, 2019