Review of ‘Enough Love?

Title: ‘Enough Love?’
Author: Maggie Hutchings
Illustrator: Evie Barrow
Publisher: Affirm Press
Age Range: lower primary, middle primary.
Themes: family, family changes, family love, blended families, relationships, identity, step parenting, same sex relationships, siblings, step siblings, parenting.
Teacher’s Notes by Affirm Press can be found here.

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From the team behind ‘I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me’ comes another gentle and affirming picture book which gives voice to young people and their understanding of authenticity in relationships and in life. ‘Enough Love?’ celebrates contemporary blended families and how they may evolve, change and grow…with love always at the centre. As someone who is currently blending two families, ‘Enough Love?’ hit me right in the heart. Contemporary blended families are beautiful, *chaotic* and full of love and laugher. The heart can indeed expand, and there is always ‘enough love’ for all.

Willa had
one dad
one mum
one home
and a bird.
And that was enough.

‘Enough Love?’

When Willa’s parents split up, she’s pretty sad. But at least they are still all hers. Until Dad meets Kevin and Willa’s family starts to grow… and keeps on growing. When will enough be enough? Or is there always room for more love?

A personal connection

Though the reason for the blended family is different (our story is here), it was so very darned nice to see our lives and range of emotions represented in story and I can see that ‘Enough Love?’ is going to be a book that I return to time and time again both at home, and in the school library context.

This is a book that deserves wide reading – it will connect with those young people who need it for personal reasons, but is also universal enough (and filled with a lightness and gentle humour), that it will connect with those who need it to develop empathy and compassion.

Told from the perspective of a young girl called Willa, we journey with her as her parents divorce and step parents, step siblings and pets are added to her life. Through all of this, we often see Willa drawing – art is so often how young children express what is going on around them and begin to make sense of it. The endpapers featuring Willa’s art are are so worth exploring with readers.

The crescendo of the story happens on a page where Willa screams at her mum, ‘Aren’t I ENOUGH??!!’. The emotion on this page is expressed in both text and illustrations and the double page spread hits the reader in the face with the raw anger of a hurting child…and then gently brings the us back down to to child height, as mum calmly and lovingly explains that there is always room for more love. Slayed me.

One mum
five dads
three home
one little sister
one big sister
one big brother
a bird
a crazy dog
a cat called Boo…

‘Enough Love?’

A must-read and must-own title for home and school libraries.

By the same team

‘I Saw Pete and Pete Saw Me’

by Maggie Hutchings. Illustrated by Evie Barrow

July 22, 2021 at 05:41AM Megan Daley