In a rhyming text, Kroll describes the nurturing behavior of mothers. The poetry is written in bold print above single and double-page paintings of animal mothers and their offspring. Some interesting facts about each creature are given on the lower portion of the page. The illustrations are splendid; the animal moms have loving expressions and even the crabs are smiling. The painting of a polar bear and her two cubs peering out from the safety of their den radiates with security and comfort. Katy Main’s Baby Animals of the North (Alaska Northwest, 1994) while not written in verse, is similar in mood, but Kroll’s book encompasses more animals from around the globe. This “warm and fuzzy” book is perfect for Mother’s Day or any day sharing.
— School Library Journal (March 1999)
In this picture book the poetic words and the beautiful illustrations work together to convey the feeling of love that bonds a mother and child. Mother llamas, lions, otters, and owls, as well as many others, teach a young child about the protection and tender care mothers give children.
Cuddling, coddling, cozying, chortling, cheeping, cooing, and cleaning are things that a mother might do. They are also good at respecting and protecting hagglers and stragglers and banishing the blues. What colorful vocabulary builders for young listeners!
As an added bonus, there is a paragraph for older readers at the bottom of each double spread with more scientific information about the species shown. This would make good conversation topics about the picture for little ones who are interested in more.
The cover blurb suggests that motherlove is the echo of divine love. A young mother might enjoy reading this with her children in celebration of Mother’s Day.
— Provident Book Finder
Little children find great comfort in books about mothers and babies. A book that explains the relationship of animal mothers to their young is Motherlove by Virginia Kroll, illustrated by Lucia Washburn (ages 2-8). It won the Benjamin Franklin Award from Publishers Marketing Association. This is a gentle book that portrays the many ways mothers show their love to their young.
— Florida children will find the following passage of special interest:
“In spring, the father dove makes loud cooing noises to announce the dove family’s territory while the mother makes soft cooing noises in the nest. To humans, the coos sound mournful, which is why they are called ‘mourning doves’ . . . Many mothers, including humans, sing or make other comforting sounds to soothe their little ones.”
— Florida Family Magazine – Linda Trice (August 2002)
This book is a celebration of “Motherlove.” Kroll’s rhyming text, “Some mothers are furry./ Some mothers are purry;/all mothers are wonderfully warm,” points out the common attributes of various mammal and bird mothers, while an accompanying prose text (with a much more advanced vocabulary) provides information about the distinctive characteristics of the various animals depicted, such as “Purring is a vibrating sound of contentment made in the throats of many cats, both wild and domestic.” The page-filling illustrations of soft, cuddly, and even smiling llamas, lions, swans, and other animals are large and detailed in warm pastel tones. . .
— Children’s Literature – Linnea Hendrickson