CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 27. . . .March 16, 2018
I Love My Canada Valentine is a board book in which the words and illustrations are in direct conflict with each other. The sentiments of love being expressed in Richmond’s text (see “excerpt”) are those that would be shared by a parent with his or her child (and not between preschoolers). On the other hand, Cartwright’s bright, colourful cartoon-like illustrations only portray pairs of children, animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels, birds) and insects with floating hearts being used to indicate the “love” and affection being shared between each of the human/nonhuman pairings. On the positive side, the children represent various races, and there is even one child in a wheelchair. The “Canada” aspect of the book is limited to throwaway Canadian place names imbedded in the text or placed on signs (eg. Toronto Zoo, Stanley Park & Moraine Lake). Cartwright takes great artistic license as none of her renderings remotely resemble the actual places. For example, Moraine Lake appears to be on the open prairies as opposed to being nestled in a mountain valley in Banff National Park. Unfortunately, it’s not just the cover of I Love My Canada Valentine that is padded. Definitely not an institutional purchase.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.