Hello, friends! Our book today is Love Made Me More, written by Colleen Rowan Kosinski and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez, a sweet story of the playthings we treasure, and the memories we make with them.
As a little boy and an elderly family member craft origami together, one special orange piece of paper (with white and blue spots) is carefully folded into a crane. With this, the paper crane achieves a sort of sentience, and cherishes the time it spends with its beloved boy. The crane comforts the child through scary storms and family tragedy, and brings him joy in his imagination and dreams. Yet soon the boy grows older, losing interest in his paper crane, who is left on a shelf to wait for the boy’s attention once again. And once it receives it, it will find new purpose as the boy’s family grows.
A rocky story with a satisfying end. The main theme, that precious memories often connect the things that we love – be they activities or objects – with the people that we love is a strong one, and one tied together beautifully by the final page. Aided greatly by Sánchez’s expressive and atmospheric artwork, Kosinski’s story is a compelling one; however, one plot element near the center was not for me. When the boy becomes a young man and finds love with a woman, the origami crane expresses great jealousy, “fuming” especially over a picture of the girl wearing “[its] colors.” There’s something about this hostility towards the now-mature boy’s relationship that feels icky, perhaps the idea that romantic love somehow threatens familial love, or perhaps the implied conflation of a human woman and a literal object. The story soars otherwise, but this felt like a narrative misstep. Still, the length is good for a storytime, and JJ did enjoy it, especially the end. Definitely give it a read and decide for yourself, and we will call this one Baby Bookworm approved overall.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)