Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney/Anita Jeram

POINTS: 2 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 0 point
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points

Okay, so this is another very famous children’s book that people are exceedingly divided on. I am led to believe it is responsible for that whole “I love you to the moon and back” which is a phrase that irks me for reasons I find hard to define. (Perhaps because love isn’t measured in distance? I dunno. It bugs me though.)

But I cannot deny its power. Since we read it, every night C has wanted to play The Game. “I love you  to the sun, and all the way round, and back down to earth, Mommy.” And I’ll admit that my sappy Mommy heart loves to hear him talk about how much he loves me, so I totally play.

But the jaded cynic in my head is rolling her eyes at the overly-sweetness of the whole affair.

So, I’ve given it points for being a good story, because although I was not initially taken with it, my kid obviously really was, and it has led to many snuggles. And snuggles are good.

However it fails on every other count. No female characters, no indication of diversity. I can’t even really give it any ideological credit beyond, you know, parents usually love their kids and vice versa. I dunno. I guess I get why it’s such a classic, but I tend to find this kind of “hit you over the head with it” sap a bit much.

Meh. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll probably be taken with it, but if not, it won’t hurt you to skip it in favour of more nuanced books. Subtle it ain’t.

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