Title: What Is This Thing Called Love?
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Anna Laura Cantone
Publisher: Wilkins Farago
Themes: Love, Family, Questions, Community
I love community stories, i LOVE them.
My favourite of all time is Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas, a tale of a young boy within a community of people who obviously love him enough to enter into his questions.
I’m also reminded of Victor Kelleher & Elise Hurst’s “Where’s God?” another tale of a young boy with questions and a community of people willing to spend time with him and answer his queries with honesty and depth.
And here’s another book to add to the collection, one of a little girl’s search for Love, how would she know it’s love when she finds it? What does it look like, smell like, feel like? On this search she’ll engage with the people in her family, her grandpa with a massive fascination for vintage cars, her father with what some may suggest an unhealthy relationship with soccer, her romantic mother with a beautiful green thumb and her grandmother who bakes perfect looking cakes.
Together with her family Emma begins a search for Love, you’ll laugh, sigh, giggle and be challenged by the questions she asks and the beautifully honest answers her family gives her.
I read this to a few adults over a fortnight ago and it’s already been used in two weddings, I hope I get the book back soon…
Davide Cali’s stories are beautifully written, innovative, simply structured, deep and touching tales, “A Dad Who Measures Up” (Also written by Cali and Illustrated by Cantone) had me at hello while “The Enemy” & “The Bear With The Sword” show a different side to Cali’s talent and the power of picture books.
Anna’s illustrations are playful, whimsical and very very pink… the way she’s created the world of each of the family members shows off all of their world views, or more their world “loves” in a way that brings laughter and depth to the story and the characters are simply stunning.
Allow the questions that Emma brings to her family to be questions that are asked of you, what do you think Love looks like? What does Love smell like? What shape is Love? Where would you find love?
Publisher’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” Page
Kids Book Review of What Is This Thing Called Love?” (pdf)
What Is This Thing Called Love?: Advanced Information Sheet (pdf)
What Is This Thing Called Love?: Teachers Notes (pdf)