Ten Things I Love About You

by Daniel Kirk

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Ten Things I Love About You

Book Description

Rabbit just adores his friend Pig. So he is excited to make a list of all the things he loves about Pig. And who better to help him write the list than Pig himself? But Pig is busy, and keeps sending Rabbit away. But no matter what Pig does, Rabbit is inspired to add another thing to his list. When Pig says, “Rabbit, I’m starting to lose my patience!” Rabbit writes #6—“I love Pig because he’s not afraid to show his feelings!” Fortunately, Pig’s dwindling patience is rewarded when Rabbit completes his list—and the two realize exactly why they are such good pals.

Reviews of Ten Things I Love About You

Review from Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Rabbit and Pig join the ranks of duos that grapple with the intricacies of friendship—and impressively stand out. . . . Kirk gets the comic timing just right. . . . Although great for reading aloud, put this at the top of the list for using as a springboard for creative writing or a discussion starter about what qualities make a good friend.

Review from The New York Times Book Review
A charmingly illustrated book about self-expression, sharing, cooperation, gratitude—what’s not to love?

Review from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The devoted Rabbit’s clueless annoying of his friend is deadpan funny. . . . The textured look of the painted wood panels has visual appeal. . . . May inspire kids to take a keener look at the charms of their own buddies. . . . A useful starting point for a classroom or family project of listing a friend’s or family member’s good points.

Review from School Library Journal
A sweet book about friendship and having a positive outlook. . . . The positive twists are refreshing–there are two ways to interpret Pig’s impatience, and Rabbit unfailingly looks on the bright side. . . . Kirk’s illustrations perfectly capture Rabbit’s always cheerful nature and Pig’s growing irritation. . . . Ideal for group sharing. . . . Provides a framework for looking for admirable traits in classmates and feeling acknowledged by others and would be a good choice to prompt discussions, suggesting that students find positive things to say about one another. 

Daniel Kirk speaks about Ten Things I Love About You

My editor Nancy Paulsen gave me a title for a book—Ten Things I Love About You—and asked me to write the story that would go with it.
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I knew this would be a story about a list, and that it would involve two characters, because the title, alone, indicated both a list and a pair of characters! But beyond that, I wasn’t sure where to begin.

I started with characters, as I often do. I’d been wanting to put a rabbit into one of my books, and here was an opportunity. Maybe two rabbits, since I needed two characters! But it might be more interesting, I thought, to make the other character a different kind of animal. Something more or less a rabbit’s size, maybe a different color…and I thought of a pig. I spent months drawing my characters over and over, trying to get them right. All the while I was writing the story, and I rewrote it at least a dozen times or more!

In the end, I took all descriptive words out of my story, and reduced it to dialog only.

Rabbit and Pig went from characters that had names to just “Rabbit” and “Pig”, which seemed the simplest thing to do. And when Nancy suggested I spend no more than a half hour or so on each finished illustration, in order to make the art looker lighter and breezier, I had to develop a new art style.

I did pen and ink drawings, then scanned them into my computer, and added color and textures in Photoshop. I spent far more time on the art than just a half hour a picture, but the look of the book is very simple and direct, which I think is good. Even though the artwork was finished in the computer, the book has a rough, hand-made appeal.

I think my story succeeds at both developing some sweet and funny characters, and showing the pleasures and pitfalls of making lists, something we all must do from time to time!


Things to think about and do after you have read Ten Things I Love About You

Pick somebody special to you and make a list of ten things you love about them. It could be your mom, dad, special relative, brother, sister, friend, teacher, or anybody! If you can’t think of ten, five will do.

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Make a list of ten things you love about yourself.

Draw a picture of an imaginary character. Try to make it cute. It could be a rabbit, a mouse, a horse, anything you like to draw. Give the character a name, and write a list of ten things you love about your character! These will all be from your imagination, of course, but it will help you learn how to make up characters for stories you might write, and give them personalities.

Then draw a picture of the nastiest, meanest, ugliest monster you can draw. Now write a list of ten positive things you can say about your monster. They can be silly or funny, but maybe you will see that you can think of nice things to say about anybody, if you try!



                              Copyright 2015 | Daniel Kirk