If Animals Said I Love You

illus. by David Walker. 32p. Farrar. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780374306021.
PreS—Full of loving and silly animal relationships, this second collaboration between Paul and Walker is comforting but also predictable. Each animal pair shows their love in active ways, like the lion cousins who "tussle and tumble, romp and roll in a joyful love jumble," or an impala grandma who speaks with a "leapity-leap." Walker's illustrations are soft, rounded, pastel renderings of the different kinds of love between parents, siblings, and friends. Paul's rhyme scheme has pleasing onomatopoeia moments and includes an array of unusual animals, such as a "click-clack"ing secretary bird.
VERDICT This animal lovefest will appeal to fans of If Animals Kissed Goodnight, but readers looking for uniqueness or inclusiveness should look elsewhere.

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