Book review - My Hand to Hold
Unconditional love is hard to explain to adults, let alone children. When I was little I would ask my mum, 'would you love me even if I killed someone?' She would answer 'Of course. I wouldn't like what you had done, but I would always love you.' I would follow this up with 'What if I went to jail?' (because that was somehow worse than killing someone to me). But no matter what scenarios I would come up with as an imaginative child, she would always reassure me.
Today I have a one year old daughter. I can't put into words how much I love her or explain how regardless of what happens in life, she shouldn't be afraid that love would ever disappear. My partner has Guess How Much I Love You – and I know this is a widely adored book – but to me it still doesn’t quantify unconditional love in a way a child could understand. They don’t know how far the moon is!
Luckily Smriti Prasadam-Halls has created a delightful children’s picture book, My Hand to Hold, which follows the ups and downs of daily life through the seasons and how love will always shine through. ‘I love you in the dazzling sun, When everything we do seems fun, But when you have to shout and yell, I love you at those times as well.’
I really like this, because to me it speaks to what children understand even from a young age. Nina loves turning the pages and pointing at the bunnies, who are beautifully rendered by illustrator Alison Friend (yes, her real name). Hopefully Nina will understand that this book expresses how I will love her forever, no matter what.
My Hand To Hold is $19.99 and available at all good bookstores now.