Review of God Loves Mommy & Me and God Loves Daddy & Me

This review is for two separate books: God Loves Mommy & Me and God Loves Daddy & Me, both written by Bonnie Ricker Jensen and illustrated by Laura Watkins.

Both books are sturdy board books that are not too big but not too small. The cover is thick padded cardboard and the pages are all cardboard as well. The illustrations for both are beautiful hand-drawn pictures which are sort of a cross between being cartoony and realistic.

God Loves Mommy & Me follows the adventures of a baby bunny and its mother, as the mother leads the bunny collecting flowers, kissing boo-boos, and splashing in the rain. The mother bunny provides encouragement sliding down a slide and forgiveness when the bunny drops something on the floor. The book goes to talk more about love as they play on a swing, hug each other, walk hand-in-hand, pray together, and tuck in for the night.

I love the message of the book, of course, but you need to set the proper expectations before reading it. I was expecting a story, but the book is really a bunch of vignettes without any real narrative. At first I was a little thrown off by this, but when I read it to my toddler not so much as a storybook as much as a book where we could look at each individual page together and talk about each page, pointing out details in each picture and making up a the back story of that particular page, it worked much better. Some of the rhymes are a bit forced, but overall I appreciated the sentiments.

God Loves Daddy & Me is a similar story of a baby and Daddy raccoon. Like the mommy book, the storyline is a bit nonexistent, as the father and baby raccoon jump seemingly randomly from boating outdoors to being inside at bedtime to raking the leaves in the fall. It repeats a lot of the same themes–praying together, hugging, forgiving, and more.

As a dad, I did appreciate that they decided to give “equal time” to Dad in the form of his own book. Too often Dad is relegated to the background in stories that focus on mommy. We live in a world where strong fathers are more needed than ever, and in a lot of ways this book can serve as much as a reminder to the dad as to the child of how important he is.

I’d give both books a solid 4 of 5 stars. Again, they’re not so strong as actual stories with plots to read through, but the illustrations are detailed enough that you and your little one can point out different objects and have a lot of fun with them. My little one was engaged, but not as engaged as she was with other books like those by PJ Lyons and Tim Warnes.