Sometimes I really enjoy the work of Peter H. Reynolds, but sometimes things are only “okay.” With All We Need Is Love and a Really Soft Pillow! I am on the side of more than okay, but not my favorite. The idea is clever with a little monster, Little One, and Poppy together, just the two of them as they only need love. But of course, a really soft pillow (or two) is nice as well. And since it might rain, a shelter is a smart idea. But walls for keeping out bugs are nice, too. And of course, we cannot forget the fruit trees, water, a pot to cook in, and the most practical things of all, a toilet and chocolate (just not together). But things become a bit more complicated when a storm takes all they have. With the help of his own Little One/son, Henry Rocket Reynolds, we get a humorous and clever idea of what is really needed. Sure, the trees and the chocolate are nice, but really love and a soft pillow (even if it is Poppy) are the main and most important items needed.
It is the artwork of Reynolds senior that pulls things together. We have a very basic, terribly colorful, and minimalistic landscape. As the seemingly needed needs of our pair grow so do the details of what we see. Still, the simple life is the accepted manner and promoted. The two characters, the father and child duo (Little One is genderless, even though there are pinks to them), are what is important and you focus on them. The illustrations are there to support and not take away from the story or theme.
This would make a cute cartoon short for Disney or a similar station. It works for all ages, but the three to six (low seven) to be read to would be best; and ages around five and up could start to read with help then solo. Due in October 2023 I read this via a reader copy sent to me by the publisher.