Picture Book Review: Have I Ever Told You?

Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King
Have I Ever Told You? 
by Shani King, Anna Horvath (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This picture book reminds each child that they are loved, that it’s okay to ask questions, that it’s important to do the right thing, and that they should always be respectful and kind.

I loved the text of this book, with its insightful statements about being inclusive and kind, about honest communication, and especially about love and family. It reminds the reader that it’s important to talk about the important things, and make sure that every child feels safe and loved and heard. I think this book will open good dialogue between children and adults, and provide opportunities for “teaching moments”, or maybe just provide a chance to listen to a child and hear what they want to say.

However, I did not always love the artwork.

Some of the pages are lovely and colorful and full of emotion, but some pages are too busy, overloaded with color and lines, and they don’t convey the proper sentiment to match the text. I prefer clean illustrations that don’t overwhelm the reader with too many details. Sometimes I felt like there was no place to rest my eye while looking at the page, and it actually made me anxious. 16 out of 32 pages had illustrations that I did not like.
But that’s just my preference. Other people might really enjoy those illustrations, and love the swirling colors.

I was also confused about why almost every illustration was of hands. It’s just page after page of artwork of hands. Hands with faces drawn on the fingers, hands holding other hands, hands with flowers growing out of them, hands with puppets on them, hands making sign language signs, hands with houses and cars on them, hands, hands, hands.
I’m not sure that was the best decision to stick with that one theme. It got boring after awhile, and it didn’t always fit well with the text.

This is a cute and sweet book, and it would be wonderful to read with a child, and have a little discussion time with them.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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