Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Rick Marino
Illustrator: Dindo Contento
Publisher: Tate Publishing
“She thought the most important thing was that she was loved very muchly and she muchly very loved in return,” Rick Marino writes about Nika in his children’s story, I Love You Very Muchly….
Targeted toward preschool to early elementary school aged children, this small paperback contains twenty-eight pages and includes a free audio download. With no scary or violent scenes, it is ideal to be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated words. Although the use of “muchly” may teach poor English, it is noted the main character does not understand human language.
With full-page cartoon-style colored pictures by illustrator Contento on almost every left side of the page, the right side contains the wording, each page a different colored font. The designs show enough detail and expressions to follow the storyline.
In this wordy tale based on a real story about a shih-tzu, Mom and Dad have a puppy named Nika that is precarious, sneaky, and loveable. Although the dog does not fully understand her charges’ explanations, she needs surgery to repair her liver.
On the day before she goes to the veterinarian, she is told how much she is loved. The next morning, though, she does not get her usual breakfast like her other dog siblings. Instead, she gets a ride in the car.
When she is at the pet hospital, Mommy and Daddy tell her they love her “very muchly” or “muchly very,” which she has trouble translating. She anticipates receiving a marvelous meal but is taken to a white room to have surgery. After she wakes, she has a big scar and is tired, but knows the ordeal is over.
Two days later, Nika starts eating again. By the third day, she misses her mommy and daddy and wants to go home. When she finally is home, her parents tell her that night as she goes to bed how much they love her, which makes her happy and contented.
With the focus being on telling someone he or she is deeply loved, the story may be helpful for those who need or have pets that need surgery by reiterating they are being carefully cared for and loved. As a first book by the author, this one shows how much a family is devoted to their pets.
Thanks to the publisher and Bookpleasures for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.