Recommended for ages 2-6
Pip is a sweet little panda who can’t wait to grow up. He asks his mother, “When will I be big?” and his mother reminds him that he’s already grown from when he was a baby. The story takes place as Pip’s mother remembers important moments: his tiny paw prints in the snow, his blanket covered all of him, playing hide and seek and the passing of seasons; how his tiny face fit in her hands. As she goes back over how Pip has grown, Mother Panda reminds Pip that as he’s grown, so has her love for him.
This is the sweetest book. Pip is actually not assigned a gender in the story; I think of Pip as being a little boy because I have three of my own, and reading this story reminded me of many similar moments in my own children’s lives. Snuggling with my toddler as I read this, I remembered when his blanket covered all of him – the same blanket that his feet now stick out from under; I remember he and his brothers fitting so snugly in my arms; I remember how little their snow angels looked in the winter; and yes, I may have gotten a little teary-eyed. My little guy didn’t notice it, but I did get an extra tight hug when I read the line about my love for him growing as he grows.
Our Love Grows is one of those books I recommend for parents, because it’s a parent’s eye-view of our babies growing up. It’s bittersweet, yes, but books like this remind us of the sweet moments, and when we’re lucky enough to still have the little ones that sit on our lap when we tell stories, books like this also let them know that they’ll get big, eventually – don’t rush it. And we’ll be right there with them.
The art is sedate and intimate, with Pip, Mom, and Pip’s stuffed bird the main focus of the book, surrounded by nature. The text is a plain black font that doesn’t call attention to itself, making the characters the central point of attention.
A good choice for new parents, toddler parents, and preschooler parents whose little ones are desperate to be big, when we want them to stay small for just a little longer.
Anna Pignataro is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Visit her author webpage to find out more about her books and artwork.