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Summary: A little mouse is looking for a bit of food from his mother, but he wants something other than cheese or crumbs. His mother takes him on a journey to the dairy, to the berry patch, to the flour mill, and to the bee hives. Each time, she explains how the ingredients are made with love -- the milk made with love by the mother cow for her baby; the berries made with the love and warmth of the sun; the flour from the hard work of the miller; and the bees with the patience that can only come from love. At the end, he sees the love that it takes for a mother to find all the ingredients and work with her little one to make and share a berry pie! This is a multi-purpose story that is as good at breakfast as it is at night.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 9 to 11
Interest Level: 2 to 8
Reading Level: 3.3
Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old boy.
Young Reader Reaction: My 4-year-old wanted to read this book over and over. It was the book he asked for first each night. He loved listening to it, although I suspect he also loved that the little mouse got to eat blueberry pie over and over again! I was surprised. My son typically likes high energy books, and I felt that this book was a little bit "girly", but he devoured every word in it.
Adult Reader Reaction: Parent 1: I liked this book a medium amount. I thought the story was a little overly sentimental a bit slow. That said, I appreciate the fact that it was comforting to a 4-year-old to be reading a book that had the word "love" on nearly every page (and often more than once), and that the mother mouse explained all the ways love can be expressed, no matter how certain you you may be that the object was not made with love. This is a WONDERFUL bedtime story -- even though it does not involve bedtime, it is a very quiet story filled with warmth and ... love.
Parent 2: This is a sweet story (no pun intended). There is plenty of love in the story, but it is also about working together and a tutorial on how to make a pie.
Pros: Shared time together is just one of the many great things about A Little Bit of Love. This sweet story illustrates the many ways of showing love. Sensory seekers will enjoy not just the descriptive text but the furry mice on the cover, too.
Cons: Parent 1: A little too "sweet" and "sappy" for my taste, so I did not want to read it too often.
Parent 2: None!
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I did not like the book, but my son most definitely did. It is worth borrowing from the library and enjoying the lesson of love ... not to mention the chance to make a pie together.
Educational Themes: This is a nice choice for helping young children see the different ways to express and show love. Mama gives us a guided tour of where our food comes from; from the honey and berries to the flour at the mill, there is a lot of factual information inside. You can also explore the illustrations at each of their stops to talk about the kind of work that goes on there. Where does honey come from? Where does milk come from? How do the bushes grow (with sun...)? How is flour made?
This book would also be a great way to introduce cooking! Select a favorite recipe, and as you read the ingredients, talk about where they might have come from. With K-1 kids you can talk about the science of cooking. Putting ingredients together ... maybe even gather some ingredients and make a recipe together.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.