Books Contours of Love Early Readers Features It's Monday What Are You Reading Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Simple But Powerful Messages Of Love in Marley’s “One Love” and “Love Is”

"One Love" and "Love Is"


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Have you signed up for our Literary Voyage Around the World Reading Challenge yet? If you haven’t do consider this as one of your reading challenges this year. 

We have also launched our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Bookshelf – which I invite you all to check out. Over 500 multicultural/ international picturebook titles for you to see.

These two stories about love are prime examples of what an actual picturebook should be like. Both are narrated in very simple text, with images that complement the writing and do not duplicate what is written in the actual text. It’s like reading two different stories, with the visual narrative adding a more complex dimension to the story.

One Love

Based on the Song by: Bob Marley Adapted By: Cedella Marley Illustrated by: Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Published by: Chronicle Books, 2011
ISBN: 1452102244 (ISBN13: 9781452102245)Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I’ve always been a fan of Bob Marley. When I found out that his daughter, Cedella Marley, adapted his One Love into a picturebook, I immediately reserved it from the library. True to form, we have a young brown-skinned girl in dreadlocks as the main character of the story – evidently the beautiful daughter of a biracial couple:

I also enjoyed finding images of Bob Marley deftly interwoven into the illustrations – as you can see above and in the image below:

This story shows a young girl planning and organizing a project with her friends that benefited the entire community – while the text-narrative served as a background music to her initiative:

I think this would pair well with Maybe Something Beautiful as both stories show young children’s proactive desire to do something for their communities, even through little gestures. Click here to be taken to my review.

It would have been nice if there was an accompanying CD to go along with this picturebook. To put us right in the mood for loving, here is Bob Marley singing One Love.

Love Is

Written By: Diane Adams Illustrated by: Claire Keane
Published by: Chronicle Books, 2017
ISBN: 1452139970 (ISBN13: 9781452139975). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This is a sweet lyrical story told in rhyming text, showing the unlikely friendship between a young girl and a duckling who chased a butterfly and lost its way, unable to return home to its family in the pond.

The beauty in this narrative is that the plot (about a girl finding a duckling, taking care of it, nurturing it until it became bigger and stronger) is not conveyed in the text, but in the images.

The written text, in fact, can be interpreted in a myriad number of ways. It can be about any kind of love that blossomed between a parent and a child, among friends, family members – and it would have worked just as well. I actually wonder whether the visual narrative happens to just be the artist’s interpretation, or whether the author had any say in the matter, by way of inputs/suggestions.

I love the selfless nature of the young girl, often seen in children’s books as portrayed by a parent. There are also no adults in the story, which I found to be even more effective, as the crux of the story truly revolved around these two beautiful friends. I also like its size, which is unlike the standard picturebook format, but is reminiscent of the early reader books that I grew up with.

Make sure that you find both of these stories and spread the love!

#LitWorld2018GB Update: 8 of 40 (Jamaica – Bob Marley)

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

6 comments on “[Monday Reading] Simple But Powerful Messages Of Love in Marley’s “One Love” and “Love Is”

  1. Yay for Bob Marley! That picture books looks awesome. 🙂


  2. I am going to check out One Love. The illustrations are wonderful! Love is sounds like a sweet story. Thanks for the recommendations.


  3. I usually don’t love song picture books but I appreciate it when the illustrators add a meaningful or interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried reading One Love, but I cannot do it without singing in my head! I loved it, and you are so write about it being paired with Beautiful.

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah Sammis

    I’ve read One Love. Love Is, is on my wishlist. Come see what I’m reading.


  6. Pingback: [Monday Reading] All The Way Up – Empowering Picturebooks for Children – Gathering Books

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