Jenkins (That New Animal ) extols the limitless love of parents in her accounting
of the numerous patience-stretching antics of young children, which may appeal
more to the caregiver than the child. "Love you when you pour cereal on the floor.
And when you ask for every toy in the whole store,/ one after the other."
This observant tally of misdeeds ranges from small annoyances, such as
interrupting, to larger misdemeanors like putting crayons in the dryer or
spreading jam on the computer. The same mother and child-two white, upright
cats with wide, deep-set blue eyes and outsize ears-feature in illustrations that
Ruzzier (The Room of Wonders ) fans will quickly recognize. His earthtone colors
and spare backdrops fill small, uneven portholes, surrounded by white space.
What the slightly offbeat paintings lack in the warm and fuzzy department is
made up for in the book's reassuring message and wry humor (e.g., one spread
reads, "Love you when you paint the walls..."-a turn of the page reveals, "and the
dog"). The quirky art and missing first-person pronoun confer a subtly
avant-garde quality, while the tone evokes a parent heaving an exhausted sigh.
But the mother's love never wavers and culminates with a big hug and
comforting tuck-in scene. "Love you, always. Yes, I do." Youngsters will smile at
both the kitten's tolerance-testing tricks and also the knowledge that a parent's
devotion will withstand a bit of a whine and other transgressions.