“Plenty of Love to Go Around” by Emma Chichester Clark is the picture book sequel to the first book, “Love Is My Favorite Thing,” about Plum, who is Clark’s real-life dog. Both books feature Plum in situations that will have children empathizing and knowing exactly how this adorable — but mischievous — dog feels.
In this picture book, Plum feels very special. Her family tells her, often, that she is their “special one,” and it makes her feel loved all over. She even has next-door friends, Sam and Gracie, two young children who also make her feel very special.
So when Sam and Gracie introduce Plum to their new cat, Binky, Plum is not impressed. He says, “Cats are not my favorite thing.” But this cat follows Plum everywhere. Other dog friends advise making friends with the cat. One even advises, “Oh, there’s plenty of love to go around.” But Plum doesn’t believe him.
The cat is darling, the cat is friendly, and the cat really wants to be Plum’s friend. He follows Plum, imitates him, saves him when he’s stuck in a shed, and even follows him to the dog park.
The charming ending to the story illustrates a theme that children will relate to (their teachers tell them often enough). Children (and dogs, apparently) rise to expectations. When Plum’s family tells her, “You’ve got a big heart, haven’t you, Plummie?” Plum feels her heart growing bigger and bigger. And then she realizes something very important.
“There’s PLENTY of love to go around and around! Yes, there’s plenty of love to go around.”
Lovely for a family expecting another child or even a family with sibling rivalry going on. (Know someone who is feeling a bit jealous of someone else?) It’s a perfect book for teaching about how people can love many others (including dogs and cats) at once, and no one should feel left out.
It’s obvious that author/illustrator Clark adores her dog Plum. Her Plumdog blog made Plum an international star. Her blog features paintings about Plum’s daily life, with commentary by Plum. It’s clever, humorous, and very affectionate. It’s apparent that Plum has a wonderful life. All dogs should be as lucky.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provided by the publisher, Nancy Paulsen Books, for review purposes.