What Is Love?

What Is Love?

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A beautiful fable about the nature of love, from beloved, award-winning picture book creators Mac Barnett and Carson Ellis.

"What is love?" a young boy asks. "I can't answer that," his grandmother says, and so the boy goes out into the world to find out. But while each person he meets—the fisherman, the actor, and others—has an answer to his question, not one seems quite right. Could love really be a fish, or applause, or the night? Or could it actually be something much closer to home? This tender, funny tale is an original take on the "I love you" story, a picture book treasure for all ages to read and cherish.

A CLASSIC LOVE STORY: A wonderful narrative voice and spectacular pictures give this book the feel of a modern classic. Fans of The Runaway Bunny, Guess How Much I Love You, and Love You Forever will adore this book.

A BOOK THAT KIDS AS WELL AS PARENTS WILL ENJOY: Many books about the love between parents and children are told from an adult's point of view. This book begins from the child's perspective, and it's funny and unexpected in ways that children can relate to, while being thoughtful in ways that adults will appreciate. Like all great children's books, this book can be understood on many levels.

A BOOK ABOUT FINDING YOURSELF: The boy's journey takes him to many different people, whose descriptions of what love means to them is very much about how they see themselves and their lives.

A GREAT READ-ALOUD: The engaging text is full of surprises and the distinctive voice of the narrator invites audiences to respond.

STAR TALENT: Mac Barnett is a New York Times bestselling author and a beloved figure on the school speaking circuit. Carson Ellis is a Caldecott Honor-winner and illustrator of some of the most interesting and beautiful children's books published today. They're an incredible creative duo and long-time friends, working together for the first time on this book.

Perfect for:

• Mac Barnett fans
• Carson Ellis Fans
• Parents and grandparents
• Educators
• Librarians

Title:What Is Love?
ISBN:9781452176406
Format Type:

    What Is Love? Reviews

  • Maggie Tokuda-Hall

    cannot stand how good Mac is, and the illustrations are a perfect match...

  • Margaret

    Excellent portrayal of the multiple meanings of loveFor some reason the Bible verse “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:21) came into my mind....

  • Cecelia

    Over the summer I went to the first-ever Picture Book Palooza!, a virtual event hosted by School Library Journal. In the past, I’ve read picture books either purely for enjoyment or in order to reco...

  • Dylan Teut

    I believe I'm in the minority on this one... But, there are few Mac Barnett books that I really enjoy. This was not one of them. It, like most, left me scratching my head. This took me 2 re-reads to f...

  • Richie Partington

    Richie’s Picks: WHAT IS LOVE? by Mac Barnett and Carson Ellis, ill., Chronicle, October 2021, 44p., ISBN: 978-1-4521-7640-6“If I fell in love with youWould you promise to be trueAnd help me unders...

  • Amy Farris-Stojsavljevic

    My daughter, who is nearly four years old, only recently started saying “I love you” to her father and me, despite us saying it to her at least a dozen times per day. I wouldn’t say I was worrie...

  • The Silvan Reverie | Sarah Street

    Okay, whoever paired Mac Barnett with Carson Ellis is absolute GENIUS! I love this book. It's so perfectly charming and an age-appropriate exploration of love. The narrative explores the question "wha...

  • Victoria Whipple

    One can not explain what love is, one must experience it. The grandmother sends he grandson into the world to learn what love is is so poignant, because there is no more difficult but truly loving thi...

  • Katey Flowers

    Love means all kinds of different things to different people, but it’s almost impossible to explain. This sweet picture book follows as our protagonist ventures out into the world to Lear what love ...

  • Susan

    I might be biased because this book came for me in the mail today, my 40th birthday and I was feeling extra emotional and the weather was super weird. I love how absurd Mac Barnett is sometimes and I ...