Love, Z

by Jessie Sima (Author) Jessie Sima (Illustrator)

Love, Z
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes the story of a young robot trying to find the meaning of "love."

A little robot named Z finds a message in a bottle signed, "Love, Beatrice" and, unable to learn what love is from other robots, sets out on a quest to find the answer.

When a small robot named Z discovers a message in a bottle signed "Love, Beatrice," they decide to find out what "love" means. Unable to get an answer from the other robots, they leave to embark on an adventure that will lead them to Beatrice--and back home again, where love was hiding all along.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Z, a robot with a boxy head, pincer arms, and kind, yellow eyes, discovers a message in a bottle that's "too smudgy to read," but ends, "Love, Beatrice." The robot seeks out the meaning of the two words, but the robots in its family cannot compute its meaning. With a paper hat atop its head and a bindle over one shoulder, Z journeys via cat-helmed boat through a narrow waterway, meeting a beaver, a turtle, and a crow feeding its chicks: "Love is sharing your food, even when it's delicious," the crow says. A friendly baker shares her definition of love, and children on a playground have their own ideas: "Love is lawn gnomes!" and "Love is wishing on a star!" The varying definitions don't add up for Z, who worries about understanding love's meaning. Characteristic illustrations by Sima (Not Quite Narwhal) playfully juxtapose friendly, angular robot characters with sunny meadows and cozy residences. Love, the robot finally learns, can be many different things--and sometimes it's closer to home than one realizes. Ages 4-8. (Dec.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3-A young robot named Z finds a message in a bottle signed "Love, Beatrice" and is determined to find Beatrice, hoping she will help reveal the meaning of this mysterious word: love. Along the way, Z encounters many people and animals, none of whom are Beatrice, but they all are happy to help Z figure out the meaning of love. "Love is sharing your food even when it's delicious" says the crow. "Love is wishing on a star" says a child at recess. "Love is lawn gnomes!" says another. Absolutely none of these answers compute for Z. Just when Z is about to give up, they finally meet Beatrice and she explains that "love is difficult to explain" but that "you'll know it when you feel it." With a little help from the other robots, Z finally understands. They find their way back home, where love was waiting all along. Sima's cheerful, digital illustrations radiate warmth as they depict adorable Z's journey. This sweet and humorous story reminds readers that love can be found in familiar things like a bedtime story, a night light, and a goodnight kiss. VERDICT This tender and entertaining story is recommended for all libraries.--Elizabeth Blake, Brooklyn Public Library

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"A good springboard for kids and their caregivers to talk about what love means to them." - Kirkus Reviews
Jessie Sima
Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. They grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey, unaware that they were a storyteller. Once they figured it out, they told their family and friends, who took it quite well. They are the author of Not Quite Narwhal; Harriet Gets Carried Away; Love, Z; Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies; Spencer's New Pet; Jules vs. the Ocean; and Hardly Haunted. You can visit them at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
December 20, 2018

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