Loving Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel, which I came across while browsing the shelves of my local independent bookstore.
The flap copy says only, “There’s so much to love about life.” And the text starts out celebrating the things a variety of animals love: sky; sand; grasssss (says the snake).
But then the images grow dark. A bird struggles through a blackened sky. “Life is not always easy.” So true. But a few pages later, the bird makes it through the darkness. And the reader is reminded of choices–new roads–and of love “in every corner of the world.”
There is something subversive in telling a child flat out that there will be times when “it seems nothing beautiful will ever come your way again,” in telling that child to trust, that everything changes, that it’s worth waking up in the morning. But childhood is absolutely the time to have this truth revealed. And what better way than in the gentle hands of this gifted writer and artist?
And if you or an adult you know needs reminding that life is hard sometimes, but that it is worth getting up in the morning “to see what might happen,” this book is perfect for that, too!