A celebration of love, respect, peace, and unity by bestselling author and illustrator Todd Parr. Love your grin. Love your skin. Love the bees. Love the trees. Love giving a hand. Love taking a stand. LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE THE WORLD! What the world needs now is love–and who better than Todd Parr to share a message of kindness, charity, and acceptance. Touching upon themes including self-esteem, environmentalism, and respect for others, Todd uses his signature silly and accessible style to encourage readers to show love for themselves and all the people, places, and things they encounter.
While I agree completely with the book’s conclusion that “you can always find something to love about yourself, the world, and everyone in it,” the book pushes this message too forcefully in every circumstance. Eventually, it becomes reminiscent of Pixar’s character Joy from Inside Out, who thinks every problem can always be solved by adding more joy. While perhaps not the book’s intent, it feels like it’s trying to blush over every moment with joyous love rather than also addressing that there’s a place for love with other emotions, like tender, mournful love. While the line “Love your tears” might intend to address such situations, the simplified story and illustration style don’t convey this meaningful nuance, especially since the character is already remarking “I feel better!” while starting to smile (like every other character with a smile plastered on its face). It’s a fun book to read sharing important messages, but it’s too oversimplified to have the enduring quality of a classic.
Todd Parr is the author and illustrator of more than 40 books for children, including the New York Times bestselling The I Love You Book, The Earth Book, and The Thankful Book. His books are available in over fifteen languages throughout the world. He is the co-creator of the popular children’s television show ToddWorld as well as short films for Sesame Street. Todd has partnered with Target, SF- MARIN Food Bank, Stouffer’s, People Magazine and several companies and organizations to help people, animals, and promote literacy. Todd’s books have won several awards and his TV show, ToddWorld, was nominated for three Daytime Emmy® Awards. Todd lives in Berkeley, California with his three adopted Pit bulls.