Carol Roth's Will You Still Love Me?
illustrated by Daniel Howarth
Book review by Sherri Trudgian
New baby reveals sibling insecurities!
The value of a good picture book is in the number of readings. I can peruse ten books before my attention is finally captured by one. Carol Roth’s book, Will You Still Love Me? is just such a story. I want to read it again and again.
With pregnancy comes the question, “Will you still love me?” Sometimes it is unexpressed but it’s always lurking in the mind of the soon to be sibling. Things are about to change. The anxiety level is raised. Once the central focus of mother’s life, the young child faces the reality that his place is about to be usurped.
The thought of a new sibling is scary but Carol Roth’s Will You Still Love Me? brings both reassurance and comfort. She utilizes five youngsters from the animal kingdom, a kitten, bunny, mouse, polar bear cub and duckling to demonstrate the limitless love of a mother.
“Said the kitten to his mother, just as sweetly as could be, ‘When the baby kittens come, will you still love me?’”
The strong bond between mother and child is unbreakable.
Mother cat responds, “…all the kittens in the world won’t change my love for you.”
The youngsters question their mothers about the potential changes.
The little mouse asks, “Will you keep me safe and warm? Will you hide me from the rain? Will you shelter me from the storm?”
The bear cub asks, “Will you still take me fishing? Will we romp through the snow? Will you still have time to feed me and watch me grow?”
The duckling asks, “Will you still take me swimming and teach me how to glide? Will there always be a place for me right by your side?”
All these questions are related to felt needs: the need for focused attention, for care and protection, for teaching/learning and of course the need for love.
I appreciate Ms. Roth’s affirmation of the youngsters. Each mother addresses her child from deep within her heart.
“You’re my angel … yes, it’s true.” “You’re my extra-special one.” “You’re my love, you’re my heart.” “You’re the apple of my eye.” “You’re my moon and my sun.”
Finally we see a little boy asking similar questions of his very pregnant mother.
“Will you still hug and kiss me? Will you still hold me tight? Will you still sing me lullabies and tuck me in at night?”
His mother tells him not to worry, “I will love you forever … wherever … more than ever … when the new baby comes!”
“Touch” and “time spent” with are basic love languages of children. Daniel Howarth’s illustrations are full of hand holding, hugging, kissing, and of course lots of snuggling. The animals are loveable and each page has extra butterflies, bees and snails for counting. The last few pages are reminiscent of the early parts of the story as Mr. Howarth incorporates the same animals in his drawings. Yellow rubber duckies can be found in the little boy’s bath. A picture of mama polar bear and cub appear on his bedroom wall. There is also a stuffed brown bunny on his dresser.
This is all done to remind the reader that mothers have an endless supply of love. Mr. Howarth’s closes off the book in a unique fashion. The mother and little boy can be seen snuggling in bed. What story is she reading? We can tell by the cover. Clearly it is the same book which we are now reading. How fun is that!
Will You Still Love Me? is a sweet story and will go a long way to reassure your little one of your love both before and after the new baby arrives.
Read more of Sherri's book reviews.
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