Ways to Say I Love You by Marilyn Singer is an adorable book, perfect for young readers who are beginning to show an interest in biology or animals.
In this book, we learn of the mating rituals of certain animals and compare those behaviors to the actions humans take to say, “I love you”. There isn’t any information about reproduction; just a simple explanation of how humans and animals show love to one another. Children will see peacocks showing off their tail feathers, frogs puffing out there throats, and humans doing the waltz. The target audience for this book is 4-6 years old, so the text is a bit on the sparse side.
What Ways to Say I Love You lacks in text, it makes up for with beautiful illustrations by Alette Straathof. I also love that we have examples of both interracial and same sex couples represented in the illustrations!
I will say, I have a slight issue with the first page, which reads, “It’s the truth. There’s no debate. Every creature wants a mate”. Obviously, there are people in the world who prefer to be alone and are absolutely fulfilled human beings without a partner. Ultimately, I believe the exclusion of single people in a book about love just gives us a great opportunity to discuss self love, platonic love, and the aromantic experience.
The back of the book has an informative section with a little more detail on the courtship of all the animals mentioned, further explaining the mating habits of snakes, bowerbirds, whales, and more.
You can pick up a copy of Ways To Say I Love You anywhere books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: These are affiliate links, from which I will receive a small commission. These links are free to use and allow you to support the blog.)
I would like to thank Quarto Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book to review! I’m sure this one will spark plenty of interesting conversations with my little guy when he’s a bit older.