“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world,” the English novelist Agatha Christie once said.

But what of a child’s love for the mother? And what happens when the love of the two, meets? The answer lies in the latest children’s picture book, published by Merlin Publishers, Inħobbok!, which is all about how the special bond between a parent and child is enchanting.

The book is an ode to one of the strongest connections in nature, written and illustrated in the sweetest of manners. On one side of the book we have the mother telling her child about her love: “I love watching you sleep”, “I love your tiny hugs”, “And your little kisses” she says to the little boy.

When the book is turned around, we have the child telling his mother what it is that he loves about her: “I love your smell”, “I love cuddling in your lap”, “I love listening to your heart beating”.

The two stories then meet in the middle of the book, with a spell binding illustration, a colourful burst of tender emotion.

Written by famous Portuguese writer and actress Fernanda Serrano and magically illustrated by Sandra Serra the book definitely warms up the soul. The Maltese translation by award-winning author Leanne Ellul gives it a life of its own with carefully-chosen words which enhance the dialogue between the mother and child.

Inћobbok! has no fixed target age

Inħobbok! has no fixed target age. Apart from being a story about the beauty of affection, the book is perfect to nurture a love of reading. It is ideal both for reading to children when they are still very young and eventually for reading by children themselves when they are slightly older.

Most of all, though, it is a book which can be read by the mother and child to each other, perhaps even adding their own little cues of love for each other.

In fact, with the launch of the book, Merlin Publishers ran a competition on social media asking parents and children to write their little thoughts about each other – and it was an overwhelming success. Merlin Publishers director Chris Gruppetta said: “We run competitions on social media on a regular basis, but the response to this particular one was way beyond our expectations. The exchange of Inħobbok! phrases between mother and child struck a chord, and we received some outstanding suggestions!”

Inħobbok! is available for sale from all bookshops or online.



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