This poem-like story, written and illustrated by Dallas Clayton is quite obviously about love. In the inscription of the story, Clayton writes:
“Love is a very big idea. Love is a very powerful feeling. Love is something special and sweet and simple and sacred and love is best when it is shared. The more love is shared the more it grows, the further it reaches, and the greater it becomes.”
I believe the same can be said about reading. A good book is best when it is shared and I’m happy that a good friend shared this book with us. My daughter received An Awesome Book of Love from a family friend when my husband and I got married. It’s my pleasure now to share this book with Imaginary Book Club.
Dallas Clayton begins An Awesome Book of Love by expanding the reader’s imagination with pairing some unlikely characters and items – such as dinosaurs and jets, apples and sundaes, and spring seasons and the fall – to demonstrate things that “might not have ever gotten together at all.” But Clayton responds with “but we aren’t all of those things / you’re you and and I’m me and we’re together as together can be.”
This book has brought tears to my eyes when it’s been an especially hard day to love on my family members. Dallas Clayton reminds the reader of what it means to really love someone. An Awesome Book of Love reads as a poem, explaining the feelings of exciting love, the kind you want to scream from mountains, so much that you would “dance like a fool in the coldest town fountains”… fountains that contain a penguin, giraffe, alligator and other animals.
I choke up every time when Clayton writes “you make me feel younger / you make me feel brave / you make me feel something these words can’t contain”. For a children’s book, this has enough depth to pull the heartstrings of any adult.
Clayton completes the story by showing that even if the love you share is between an unlikely pair, that “no matter what sense it would make,” love can still happen just because “you’re you and I’m me”.