Book Review and Vintage Valentine Mood Board for LOVE by Matt De La Pena and Illustrated by Loren Long

Book Review and Vintage Valentine Mood Board for LOVE by Matt De La Pena and Illustrated by Loren LongLove by Matt de la Pena, Loren Long
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on January 9th 2018
Pages: 40

From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.
"In the beginning there is light and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed and the sound of their voices is love....A cab driver plays love softly on his radiowhile you bounce in back with the bumps of the city and everything smells new, and it smells like life."

In this heartfelt celebration of love, Matt de la Peña and illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that's soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

Welcome to the LOVE blog tour to celebrate the release of LOVE by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Loren Long. Today is my turn to share my thoughts on this  beautifully crafted and magnificently illustrated book that captures the epitome and complexities of the sentiment.

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by old fashioned Valentines, and I thought it would be a fun to put together mood board of some of my favorite cards in celebration of LOVE. I am also attaching at the bottom, one of my favorite songs by Sarah Bareilles (“Bottle it Up”) because I think it captures  some of the book’s ideas quite well too.


In Love we are reminded of the sentiment’s  many faces, and that it comes in many forms. Though there are times  we suffer pain, there are also times of joy and laughter. Love shows us that it can be found in the simplest of moments, or even in the darkest ones.

The diverse and vivid illustrations perfectly showcase and illuminate Matt’s words. Love leads the reader through a cascade of emotions from reliving childhood glee, the sensation of wonder, the grief of loss, the understanding that comes with growing up, and the enchantment of being loved. Matt de la Peña’s tender words will touch your heart and that is LOVE.


One of the most touching pages (to me at least), above, reads:

“And in time you learn to recognize a love overlooked. A love that wakes at dawn and rides to work on the bus. A slice of burned toast that tastes like love.”

This page brought tears to my eyes, as I started to think about all the times my aunt would get up at the crack of down to head to work, in order to provide for me and my cousin. Or all the sacrifices my grandmother made for my wellbeing. It truly touched me.

LOVE is a glorious celebration of “love” and will appeal to all ages. I absolutely LOVED reading it and hope it will find a place in your heart too.


Favorite Quote: “And it’s love in the rustling leaves of gnarled trees line behind the flower fields”





Matt de la Peña is the author of Last Stop on Market Street, which won the Newbery Medal and was chosen for a Caldecott Honor. He is also the author the award-winning picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis and six critically acclaimed young adult novels. Matt teaches creative writing and visits schools and colleges throughout the country. Matt lives in Brooklyn,




Illustrator Bio: Loren Long is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Otis series. He’s also the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama, as well as the re-illustrated, #1 New York Times bestseller The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. He lives near Cincinnati with his wife, two sons, and two Weimaraners.




Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a finished copy in return for an honest review.




January 8 – Margie’s Must Reads – Mood Board

January 9 – DoodleMom’s Homeschooling Life – Review and Review and Creative (lesson plan/unit study)

January 10 – The Keepers of the Books – What Love Means to different age groups

January 11 – The Children’s Book Reviews – Creative

January 12 – Books4yourkids – Creative




January 15 – Happily Ever Elephants – Review + Kids quotes on what love is to them.

January 16 – Crayon Freckles – Creative Learning Activity

January 17 – My Book Bloom – Review and Craft

January 18 – My Little Poppies – Activity

January 19 – All Done Monkey – Lesson plan or activity.




January 22 – Mundie Moms – Ask 7th graders what they think of the definition of “love”

January 23 – Wandering Bark Books – Spotlight

January 24 – Little Lit Book Series – Arts and Crafts Post

January 25 – Between the Reads – Review AND exploring what love means in today’s society and what it means to me

January 26 – The Plot Bunny – Old Valentine’s Mood Board




January 29 – Just Commonly – “Love is” Collage

January 30 – Inspiration Laboratories – Artwork demonstrating love




1 thought on “Book Review and Vintage Valentine Mood Board for LOVE by Matt De La Pena and Illustrated by Loren Long”

  1. Wow, this book sounds incredible. I’ve only read a short story from Matt, but it was lovely. It sounds like the world needs this book. Will absolutely be adding to my sons library!

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