I Love Mom, by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot; Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 2-5.
Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot team up for their third children’s book, this time dedicated to celebrating moms. Like their previous collaborations (The Biggest Kiss; The Perfect Hug) I Love Mom is a snuggly, feel-good story aimed at very young children. Here, tiger cubs demonstrate all the wonderful things their mother does: transforming chairs into thrones, baking cakes, and making skinned knees better with a kiss and a hug. Judi Abbot’s warm and inviting illustrations fill the oversize pages and delight the eye.
Unfortunately, while the goal was to recreate the success of the duo’s previous read-alouds, this text feels disjointed and awkward: one page extols the mother tiger’s ability to create fantastic games, then the next page she’s packing up a messy box and trucking her charges someplace. (On my first read-through, I thought I had skipped a page.) Rhymes such as “No one brings the sky closer to the seesaw” are strange as well. Also, the text goes back and forth between “me” and “we.” This could be confusing for young readers. Fans of Walsh and Abbot will love it regardless, but readers new to the collection might do well to consider one of their earlier offerings.