Sunday 27 February 2022

The Love That Grew

The Love That Grew by Sarah Ayoub & Mimi Purnell (Harper Collins Children’s Books) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN 978 1 46 0 76111 3

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

This heartfelt book is an ode to the heart-expanding love that swells and grows with each new addition to a family. This story beautifully shows that a mother’s love grows when blessed with each new child. There is enough love to go around for everyone.

Sarah Ayoub is a bestselling author, and this book is a winner with its message about the power of a mother’s love. Ayoub’s words are like a warm hug, and they are very appealing and warm. Let me tell you of a power that can never be tamed, of how I promise to love you all the same. Something so special you must never forget, no matter how big our family may get… 

Ayoub’s words feel just like a mother speaking to her children. The words flow easily and smoothly as the text is written in rhyme. The writing is tight and there are some endearing expressions that create great visuals. A feeling that was both fierce and strong and the-longest-noodle-you-can-think-of-long.  The word usage is wonderful and powerful. It shone brighter than all the stars at night, felt more explosive than dynamite. I love the message of reassurance that no matter what happens in this world there is nothing more powerful than a mother’s love.

Mimi Purnell is a debut illustrator and her pairing with this text is perfect. The colour palette is soft and whimsical with an old-world charm. The muted creams, browns, oranges, greens are a wonderful match to the theme of love. Her characters reflect diversity and there is movement and action that delights. Her double page spreads use size and scope beautifully and the vignettes loving show each child receiving love. The double page spread with the heart shaped balloons is adorable, with mums and their children in each balloon basket.  Purnell has imaginatively used perspective in a dreamy and whimsical way.

The Love That Grew is a juvenile fiction book that covers the themes of family and new siblings that is perfect for children aged 0-2 years and beyond. It is appealing as a gift to a growing family when a new baby arrives. This is a book that has universal appeal as it pulls upon heart strings. 

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