Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 0 to 2
- Grade: p
- Reading age: 0 to 2
Spanning one full calendar year, this rhyming board book celebrates the deep love between parent and child. Rendered in couplets, the verses weave expressions of affection with vivid imagery from the natural world, making it ideal for teaching young ones about the seasons and the beauty of nature.
With vibrant, heartwarming illustrations, this is a perfect read-aloud to foster warmth and closeness with baby.
About the authors
Susan Musgrave has been labelled everything from eco-feminist to anti-feminist, from stand-up comedian to poet of doom and gloom, from social and political commentator to wild sea-witch of Canada's northwest coast. Her career as a social misfit began when she was kicked out of kindergarten class for laughing, and sent to the library to contemplate her heinous crime while seated on the “Thinking Chair”. She understood, then, that books and thinking must be considered dangerous, and they became her favourite forms of escape. Not long afterwards she dropped out of kindergarten for good. In Grade 8 she won her first poetry competition, with a poem about Jackie Kennedy visiting her husband's grave by moonlight in rhyming couplets. Her prize was a copy of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. At 14, Susan Musgrave dropped out of high school and ran away from home to gain life experience. She got as far as the railway tracks in Ladysmith, on Vancouver Island, where she wrote poetry about cigarettes drowning in cold cups of coffee, and on the eternal shortness of existence. Next we have the missing years (months, actually). Committed to the local psychiatric ward, assigned to Room 0, she met most of the University of Victoria's English Department. While she was plotting her eventual escape from the mental hospital, the poet Robin Skelton came to visit her. “You're not mad,” he said, after reading her poetry, “you're a poet.” She and an older professor escaped together, and spent the next years living in Berkeley, California. Her first book of poetry was published when she was 19. Of Songs of the Sea Witch, her grandfather said, “Even Shakespeare had to write a lot of rubbish to begin with.” In 1969 she received a short term Canada Council Grant of $1500 and spent the next two years living on the remote west coast of Ireland. In 1972 she returned to Canada, to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and in 1975 married a criminal lawyer, Jeffrey Green, at St. Albans Cathedral in England. The marriage lasted four years. During the trial of five Americans and 23 Colombians accused of attempting to smuggle 30 tonnes of marijuana into Canada (her husband was one of five defence lawyers) she fell in love (from across the courtroom) with one of the accused smugglers, Paul Oscar Nelson. When he was acquitted she left with him for Mexico. They lived for two years in Colombia and Panama, until the birth of their daughter, Charlotte, in 1982. While Susan was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Waterloo, 1983-85, Paul Nelson was sentenced to four years in prison in California on a previous smuggling charge. While in prison he gave his life to the Lord, and Susan and Paul were divorced shortly afterwards. Around the same time, 1983, Susan received a manuscript from a convicted bank-robber, Stephen Reid, serving a twenty-year sentence at Millhaven Penitentiary, in Ontario. She read the manuscript, fell in love with the protagonist, and married the author on October 12, 1986, while he was still in prison. His novel, Jackrabbit Parole was released the same year. On June 1, 1987, Stephen Reid was granted full parole, and the couple moved into a seaside cottage on Vancouver Island, with a 190 foot Douglas fir tree growing through the middle of it. In 1989 their daughter Sophie was born; in 1997 Stephen burned his warrant and Susan burned her mortgage papers in a party attended by a diverse group of family, friends and writers including a Supreme Court judge and two paroled members of the Squamish Five. During their thirteen year marriage Stephen battled heroin and cocaine addiction. In 1997, the couple began building a house on the Queen Charlotte Islands, and their lives were the subject of a CBC Life and Times documentary, The Poet and the Bandit, which aired in January 1999. On June 9, 1999, after a two year clean-and-dry period that had ended roughly around the time the documentary aired, Stephen was arrested for bank robbery in Victoria, following a shootout and car chase through Beacon Hill Park. He was sentenced to eighteen years in prison on December 22, 1999. Musgrave has published over 21 fiction, poetry, children's, and non-fiction books.
Esperança Melo is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Animation Program and has completed an honors degree in graphic design from George Brown College. She has illustrated and designed several children’s books and loves working in various art forms and media, including sculpting in papiermâché. Esperança co-illustrated Drumheller Dinosaur Dance (Kids Can), which was awarded the 2005 Blue Spruce Award and the 2006 Chocolate Lily Award. Esperança was born in the Azores and now lives in Millbrook, Ontario.
- Commended, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year
- Commended, CCBC Best Books
Excerpt: Love You More (by (author) Susan Musgrave; illustrated by Esperança Melo)
I love you more than the stars so high
Winking and dancing in the January sky.
"Musgrave walks readers through the months of the year, connecting a parent’s love for a child to various seasonal occurrences...There’s no missing the steady, comforting message...Melo’s illustrations...have a rich warmth and texture, from the craqueleur of a violet night sky to cozy scenes of around-the-year friendship between a frizzy-haired girl and her fuzzy brown teddy bear."
"A beautiful book ...illustrated with vivid bright colours in a combination of realism and playfulness...Ultimately the text is about love, the timeless, limitless love between parent and child. Sharing this book aloud with baby conveys the cosiness and safety of that love, as well as the love of language, the love of nature and the world around baby...Highly recommended."
"A sweet board book that narrates a parent’s love for her/his child over the course of one year...The illustrations are joyful, bursting with movement and stunning contrasting colours...Babies will be lulled to sleep by the gentle rhymes, and toddlers will have fun learning about the various critters that appear in the story as the seasons change. Love You More is sure to become a much-read bedtime favourite."
"A parent or other loving caregiver proclaims love for a child in a series of couplets that invoke the beauty of each month of the year. The smooth verses cleverly use the distinctive features of each month to describe the love the parent has for the child...The detailed, realistic illustrations depict an adorable, curly-headed little Caucasian girl exploring the outdoors with her trusty teddy bear at her side...This celebration of love and life will no doubt be enjoyed by doting new parents and their not-yet-mobile infants."
"Melo’s illustrations are wonderful...The colors are soft and the little girl at the center of the story is darling. Readers will be encouraged to make up their own special ways their little ones are loved."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
Other titles by Susan Musgrave
My Love is for You Read-Along
My Love is For You
Love You More Read-Along
Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug Read-Along
More Blueberries! Read-Along
Sguna, Salgang, Dang k'uut'as, Dang k'uusgid
Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug Haida Edition
Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug / Sguna, Salgang, Dang k'uut'as, Dang k'uusgid
A Taste of Haida Gwaii
Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World
You're In Canada Now . . .
A Memoir of Sorts