In I Love You More, author and playwright Emil Sher has penned a beautiful book that effortlessly teaches early literacy and reinforces affection toward children.
Each page is a fresh window into a child’s life and an affirmation of the hidden ties that bind pairs of things together delivered with an explicit message. For example, “I love you more than pianos love hands.” Primarily about the love of a parent for their child, this story also illustrates the way a community can come together to support one another such as delivering groceries to an eldery neighbour.
The premise of the book is thoughtfully explained by the author in the afterword: I Love You More originated from a word game of pairing that Sher used as a way to close the letters he sent his young daughters away at camp. The game of inventive metaphor was reciprocated in the letters his daughters sent back.
There are many positives to I Love You More: the simple language will help young children develop reading skills, and the story is easy to follow. What’s missing is a deeper subtext to make it truly memorable. There are no challenges to be vanquished à la Robert Munsch’s Paper Bag Princess, just happy people within a bubble.
Barbara Reid’s detailed and colourful plasticine artwork, with a texture the reader can almost feel, beautifully highlights small gestures like the gift of an apple or cupcakes. The images tell their own story of relationships, community, pets, and the love within a home.
In his “Man of the Decade” interview, John Lennon likened love to a precious plant: “You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard … You gotta keep watering it.” I Love You More is a reminder that the preciousness of children grows with regular reinforcement of just how much they are loved.