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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Love You Already! Written by Jory John and illustrated by Benji Davies. Harper. 2016. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"We can spend some
quality time together."
"I'll tell you my life's
"You'll tell me your
life's story?"
"We'll get some exercise."

I love to read new stories which feature characters I admire. When I read Goodnight Already! I couldn't help but fall for Bear and Duck. They are such an opposing pair! Bear seeks comfort in quiet times and solitude. Duck waddles through life with more enthusiasm and spunk than a flock of his own kind. As we learned that last time, Duck thinks that being with Bear is pure bliss and will provide much needed 'together' time.

When morning breaks and Bear is lazing about his house for a quiet weekend, he prepares tea and heads for his favorite chair. Next door, Duck is in bed, dipping cookies in something that can be sipped through a straw, while reading a book called 101 Walks to take with BEARS. Something is in the offing; we are about to see once more that Duck is keen to get the day going with Bear in tow. The humor is as welcome as ever. Though the two are at opposite ends of the action spectrum, they make quite the pair.

 Bear, glasses poised on top of his head for reading the pile of books that sit on the floor beside him, with music playing and hot tea at hand, is roused from the quiet by loud banging on his front door and an insistent declaration that the two are going for a walk. Oh no, they are not! Bear is BUSY. It doesn't seem so to Duck who peers through the door's window. The conversation goes back and forth from outside to inside until Bear relents and they are off. The walk does not improve Bear's grumpiness until it appears that Duck might have been injured in a fall from a tree. That is exactly when the love between friends becomes evident to Duck. He is most appreciative and willingly offers daily visits!

"I've got 
to stop
my door."   Bear concludes.

Benji Davies captures both personalities with wit and great affection. The humor is amped up with the many details he adds to his engaging illustrations. The colorful backgrounds, the bold colors, and the many spot images allow young readers to see the interaction between the two from start to finish.

Kids are going to love it! Just wait until they can read it for themselves.  

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