Love, Z

Love, Z, by Jessie Sima, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2018

I found this book on my library’s new books shelf, and my girls and I immediately fell in LOVE with it. Jessie Sima is an experienced author-illustrator who wrote Not Quite Narwhal and Harriet Gets Carried Away. This is another delightful and heartwarming story.

The publisher’s description: “When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed “Love, Beatrice,” they decide to find out what “love” means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice—and back home again, where love was hiding all along.”

In classic Sima-form, the illustrations in this book are beautiful, vibrant, sweet, and funny. Z’s journey to discover the meaning of love is both touching and amusing. What a creative and clever way to convey such a familiar yet hard to define concept for children – and package it in such a unique and marketable form. (What kiddo doesn’t love robots, after all?)

The main robot, Z, is baffled by the other characters’ musings about what “love” means to them, … they just do not compute! Z is a sweet and oh-so-robot-like character in his curiosity and difficulty processing such an abstract concept. Ultimately, though, Z realizes that he’s always known what love is. He just didn’t have a name for it yet. And his experience of love is very relatable for small children.

Pick up this book and you’ll fall in love, too.

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