Summary: In the same manner as touching picture books like bestsellers Let Me Hold You Longer and Love You Forever, I Couldn't Love You More tells a sweet, loving, yet powerful message: I couldn’t love you more, but there is someone who does. Through the unique relationship of adorable animals, the book shares that Christ is always with you and he loves you more than you can imagine. This engaging picture book combines lovable and irresistible images with the lyrics from the song (co-written by Jason Ingram and Matt Hammitt). Matt is lead vocalist for Sanctus Real, a Grammy-nominated Christian rock band. The song is on Hammitt’s latest album, Every Fallen Tear. When Matt and his wife, Sarah, were halfway through her pregnancy, they discovered their son would be born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital defect. Matt and Sarah’s son, Bowen, was born on 9/9/10 and received a huge following through the Hammitt’s blog (bowensheart.com), K-LOVE, and ABC News. A portion of the proceeds from the book goes to the foundation the Hammitts’ have started to help parents with children who have this heart condition.
Particlars of the book:
Publisher~Tyndale House Publishers
Genre~ Children's Fiction/Christian/Inspirational
About the Author :
Matt Hammitt is the lead singer and a founding member of the band Sanctus Real. Over the past decade, the Grammy nominated, Dove Award–winning group has released five albums and has topped the Christian radio charts with fourteen No. 1 and Top 5 radio hits.
In 2010, Matt and his wife, Sarah, found out they were expecting their third child. Already the parents of two young daughters, Emmerson and Claire, they were looking forward to an ultrasound that would reveal whether they were having a boy or a girl. "We found out it was a boy, and we were all celebrating," Matt recalls. "But only a few minutes later the doctor came in and told us that things weren't right, that half of the baby's heart wasn't developed. At that time, they didn't think he would survive."
Diagnosed with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome, little Bowen, whose name means "small, victorious one," defied the odds and survived. But it hasn't been an easy road for Matt and his family. Following Bowen's birth, Matt and Sarah watched their newborn son endure two open-heart surgeries, and they spent more than three months by his bedside at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Matt and Sarah have shared the pain, as well as the joy, of their journey with others through their blog, Bowensheart.com, which has received more than one million hits to date. Sarah says, "God clearly has His hand in all of this. Our family has been called to walk through this, and we will do our best, even though it's going to be really rough at times."
"Everything I've watched happen in the hospital—all the pain I've felt—is deepening my faith, strengthening my marriage, and molding my character," Matt says. "Out of what appeared to be a well of emptiness has flowed a fountain of purpose." Matt's album Every Falling Tear, released in 2011, was born out of the heart of a father wrestling with his pain but buoyed by his faith and his love for his family. I Couldn't Love You More is one of the songs on the album. It expresses a parent's desire to share Christ's unconditional love with his child. A portion of the proceeds from both Matt's album and this book will be given to support the Whole Hearts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the Hammitts that is dedicated to helping families with children suffering from congenital heart defects. Matt says, "We've met so many families like us whose children are suffering, and they are looking for hope. It has become our mission to help them find it."
The Dame's Nutshell Review:
This is a darling book with the most beautiful of illustrations. I wish I had a copy for every single one of my 7 little grands to keep on their bedside tables. The message of Jesus's love and His never leaving them whether day or night is such a comfort. I know my grands would all be happy to be reminded that someone else loves them much more even than their devoted parents and grandparents!
Matt Hammitt, and illstrator Polona Lovsin have worked together to bring a stunning little book to life with the collaboration of songwriter, producer and artist, Jason Ingram's input.
I have always loved the simple and profound messages of their books, but this one is a stand-out!
I highly recommend it, not just for children with disabilities and those who suffer with hospitalizations, but for all children in all situations.
It's a perfect book for anytime and anywhere.
5 sparkling stars...
Short Stories Choice of the Month
With poignancy and humor, Deborah Batterman reminds us in these brief, linked essays that every mother is a daughter, too. The insights she brings to simple acts – looking at old photographs, recalling the smells and tastes of her mother’s cooking, making her daughter’s bed or shopping with her – are as beautifully rendered as they are profound.
About the Author:
A native New Yorker, Deborah Batterman has worked over the years as a writer, editor, and teaching artist. A story from her debut collection, SHOES HAIR NAILS (Uccelli Press, 2006; digital edition, 2010), was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her stories have appeared in anthologies as well as various print and online journals, and she recently completed a novel.
Let The Dame Have Her Say :
Deborah Batterman is a woman who knows the intricacies of writing well. She is a writer who can take apart a piece of story like boning a fish, bit by tiny bit, and come out with a delicacy. I love her body of work. It's a delight to read, and I wonder when some major publisher is going to discover her and put her all over the book shelves in every major city across the country. For now, any of us can read her work by finding her on Barnes & Noble for a song. Lucky for us!
In "Because My Name Is Mother," Deborah has highlighted the dark and the light sides of motherhood. It's a retrospective story making of the push-pull we all probably feel about our own mothers; i.e., that sense of loving them, and at the same time feeling a sort of jealousy or resentment toward them. And, if not a resentment, an awe of the mystique of them on some level. The power of motherhood is addressed in Deborah's short stories, as is the personal weaknesses of women who are mothers. And all this is done with such brilliance and poignancy, we can't help being touched with memory and the madness, and the awareness of our own roles as mothers.
I'm a huge fan of Batterman's work. I have to stop by her blog fairly often just to get my dosage of her writing and wisdom. She's an amazing artist. She's also one of those who actually sees and interprets the world around her on a regular basis. That's a gift, which makes her a gifted writer.
I loved the second story in this collection, for instance, of her showing her grown daughter by example that it's good to enjoy the moment, to take time to distance oneself from busy-ness when having a moment's pleasure and "relaxation" in a manicure and pedicure salon...putting away cell phones, magazines, etc., to enjoy the moment. She writes of not telling her daughter, but showing by her own choices, and realizing that her daughter might at some time find the way by her example...or not. That's motherhood at it's most mature.
Let me encourage you to purchase this volume of short stories today or anytime. "Because My Name Is Mother" is a book you'll be reading and passing on to your mother and friends...