The title phrase provides the book’s structure. On the day of a family party, the young narrator shows her family—and readers—that she can count ten kinds of love. As the party approaches and family arrives, she counts “Creator Love” (as in the love expressed in prayer), “Romantic Love,” “Parent Love.” Charmingly, Baird tracks the numbers of types of love with inset illustrations of the fingers the narrator is counting on. Baird’s intentional portrayal of a mixed family bound together through an intricate network of love ensures that kids from racial backgrounds that are historically under-represented will see themselves in these pages. By observing the ways love manifests in her life, the narrator also demonstrates a practice of gratitude for her nurturing family.
Baird’s illustrations, though colorful and lively, have an abrasive, somewhat unfinished quality, but there is a delightful attention to detail regarding the small flourishes of imperfection found in a healthy home: spillage, antics of pets, children falling, playing, exploring, toys strewn across the floor, stained shirts worn by smiling kids. All of it amounts to a wholesome, loving family anyone would be grateful to be part of, and it’s a fine choice for children seeking a story that celebrates love in all its forms.
Takeaway: A child’s charming celebration of the many types of love.
Comparable Titles: Dan Sak’s and Brooke Smart’s Families Can, Barry Timms and Tisha Lee’s Love Grows Everywhere.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: A-