How We Say I Love You

Knopf. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593428399.
Gr 1-3–Hana’s Asian American family shows its love for one another in actions instead of using a well-known three-word phrase. Hana feels her family’s love every day in the delicious breakfast her mother makes to start the day off right; her grandfather walking her to school every day; her grandmother’s delicious lunches; her father’s encouraging words as she plays soccer and the way he reads to her at night. She shows them her love by trying her best in all things, pouring her grandfather’s nightly tea, rubbing her grandmother’s feet, and enjoying the sweetness of family time together. It’s a love that Hana cannot wait to share with her unborn sibling to whom she whispers all the joys that await them. Chen’s text has several Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese words that work well in context. In addition, there is a helpful glossary at the book’s end, though without a pronunciation guide. Using the style that has served her well in previous picture books, Wen’s warm and cozy illustrations depict a multigenerational family that presents a vision of a happy home. The spreads are broken up with the effective use of occasional borders. Hana’s classmates have various skin tones.
VERDICT This is a successful story that shows not only the myriad ways families indicate love but also an extended family as well. A good general purchase.

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