Love from Matilda

Grosset & Dunlap. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780593520604.
PreS-Gr 3–Blake’s classic illustrations of Roald Dahl’s Matilda are paired with simple statements about “what love is.” While some pages offer generic platitudes and simple images (for example, the text “Love welcomes us home” under a picture of Miss Honey’s cottage), those who haven’t yet read the book will lack much of the context needed to understand some of the illustrations, such as the picture of Mr. Wormwood unwittingly massaging peroxide into his hair (“Sometimes love is teaching people right from wrong”). The final message—“Love is what I feel for you,” with a picture of Miss Honey holding Matilda—indicates that this is a book best read by a close caregiver to a young reader, but because there is no story, per se, and the book leans heavily on familiarity with the original novel, the usual picture book audience may not connect with this material.
VERDICT This book fails to introduce the character to young readers in a meaningful way, nor does it have anything new to say about love. A novelty purchase at best.

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