Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on The Art of Hearing Heartbeats for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.
As you’re reading The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
Picture Books About Love (Eros, Storge, Philia, Philautia, Agape)
In this five part series, I’ve been exploring the different kinds of love that make our hearts skip a beat.
In The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Su Kyi, Tin Win’s adoptable mother, comments on the perfect, symbiotic love of Tin Win and Mi Mi when she observes:
“The smallest human unit is two not one.”
This quote got me thinking about Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and all the loves a person can experience in his or her lifetime. The ancient Greeks believed there were seven love types. See my previous post.
Our previous posts crushed on eros (love of the body, erotic or romantic love) and storge (love of the child, familial love).
Now we’re swooning over philia (love of the mind, affectionate or brotherly love) and the picture books that celebrate love between friends or siblings! The Greeks valued this above erotic/romantic love because it’s love, without sexual attraction, between equals.
5 Picture Books About Brotherly Love (Philia)
1. Love Is (2017) | Diane Adams
In this darling story, a duckling and a little girl spend a heartwarming a year together. They learn what it means to love and care for each other. This book reminds us that love is about knowing when to hang on and when to let go. (Age Range: 3-6 years)
2. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (1996) | Eileen Spinelli
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings while dusting his living room. “Somebody loves me!”
Mr. Hatch wonders “who could that somebody be” who sent him a mysterious package on a wintry day. Eventually, he solves the riddle of his secret admirer and his once empty heart is full. If you’re feeling lonely, this book uplifts you and puts an extra spring in your step as you walk about town. (Age Range: 3-8 years)
3. Yak and Dove (2017) | Kyo Maclear
Yak and Dove are more different than they are alike (e.g. one has fur, one has feathers). Yak holds auditions for finding a new best friend, but learns maybe the two have more in common than not. This book captures all the heart racing ups and downs of friendship and of love. (Age Range: 4-8 years)
4. Mr. Darcy: No. 1 (2017) | Alex Field
In this telling, Mr. Darcy is a lonely and shy duck. He’s too proud to accept his friend Lizzy’s invitation to tea. This book is especially fun for adults who heart anything Jane Austen! (Age Range: N/A)
5. Elmore (2018) | Hollie Hobbie
The Toot & Puddles series creator, brings us the story of a prickly porcupine who will steal your hearts! Making friends is tough for Elmore because his spikes make it hard to get close to anyone. This book illustrates how the most wonderful and worthwhile things in life, e.g. friendship (and parenting, ha!), are also the most difficult. (Age Range: 3-7 years)
A Final Thought – From the Pillow
You’ve given your child a sibling and the gift of a forever friend.
So help nurture sibling love (philia) with picture books.
What other picture books would you add the list?
What kinds of love have you experienced?