The Love Letter

The Love Letter, by Anika Aldamuy Denise, Illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Harper 2019

Let me start by saying, I’m not biased. (Really!) Yes, I think Anika Aldamuy Denise is a fabulous writer, person, and mentor. But, apart from that … I also truly think this is a fabulous book! Let me start by quoting the first lines, “Hedgehog was late. He did not like being late. It further frazzled his already prickly mood. He’d been grumbling about it to the ground when …” Doesn’t that just make you want to turn the page and keep reading? Me, too!

Here’s the publisher’s description: “Fall in love with this endearing and adorable picture book that illustrates how a little bit of heart goes a long way to making the world a better place. Hedgehog, Bunny, and Squirrel are best friends. One day, they each find a letter. But not just any letter… A love letter. My word! My whiskers! Aww, nuts! Someone loves them. But who? The answer may surprise you! Celebrated author Anika Aldamuy Denise and beloved illustrator Lucy Ruth Cummins deliver this heartwarming tale about a wonderful mix-up that reminds us of the joys of friendship.”

This book is just brimming with adorable sweetness. The love letter – and the ripple effect it causes – make my heart smile. The three main characters are each wonderfully unique, relatable, and likable in their own way. The language Anika chooses is spot on in conveying mood and character, and her word choices sparkle. The ending is also unexpected and full of heart.

The illustrations are wonderfully adorable and do a great job of conveying the tone of each scene. I like the muted color pallet she chose, the way she used different colors to convey changing moods.

While this book would make a great Valentine’s gift or read-aloud Valentine’s story for the classroom, it’s also a perfect book to share with your own special little loved ones anytime of the year.

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