Lia pulled a book off the shelf the other day and I dropped everything I was doing to sit down and read it to her. It was a book from my childhood; Love is a Special Way of Feeling by Joan Walsh Anglund. My copy was printed in 1960 so it’s a little tender. I thought I had put it on the high shelf, but when she brought it to me, I wasn’t even disappointed that she had scribbled “The End” in Liaese on the last page. I was just thrilled to share with her what this book taught me when I was a small child.
The illustrations are lovely. Anglund’s pen drawings capture the innocence and simplicity of a child’s mind. The soft colors add warmth and depth, leaving a lot of white space for the imagination. I remember reading and rereading this book at that critical stage of child development when I was becoming aware of my own emotions. The word love is used in so many contexts that it can become confusing to identify what it really means. This book hits it right on. Love means so much more than liking a person. It’s a deep and penetrating physical and emotional sensation, even for a child…especially for a child.