How Much Do You Love Me?

I Love You More revolves around little Jay who is convinced that his mother doesn’t love him. She wants him to sleep alone, in a different room.

Ma has to convince Jay that she loves him as much as ever, but just believes that it’s time for him to become more independent, and sleep on his own bed, in his own room. Karishma Mahbubani, the author, and Suzzanne Rebello, the illustrator, have based this book on the resistance they faced from their 5-year-olds when they broached the topic of sleeping separately.


Date: 11th May 2019, Saturday (the day before Mother’s day)
Chennai: The ilovereadin’ Library (4:00 PM – 5:00 PM)
Mumbai: The Little Light House (11:00 AM onwards)

“There is a certain amount of separation anxiety that keeps both kids and parents from letting go,” says Karishma, drawing from her own experience. “And thus, I Love You More was born. Not only does it depicts Jay’s fears quite realistically, it shows Ma as a gentle yet firm communicator. She understands her son’s misgivings and never brushes them off, but ultimately refuses to cave.”

Instead, the character uses love as a tool of reassurance, telling Jay, “Though I love you up to the moon, it’s time you slept in your own room.”

The main challenge that Suzzanne faced was figuring out how to quantify the depth of the mother’s affection.

“The more Jay questions how much Ma loves him, the more creatively she has to get her point across. Visually, I had to think about how to represent those moments of whimsy while still keeping the subject grounded in reality,” says Suzzanne. “Making the drawings emote the bond between a mother and her child, that was a challenge too.”

I Love You More has performed extremely well in storytelling sessions – both in public and in private. Mothers have reached out to Karishma and Suzzanne, time and again, to express how much their kids enjoyed the book. They have also marvelled at their children’s marked difference in attitude towards sleeping alone, post-read.

And that, at the end of the day, is what every book sets out to achieve, right? Creating a positive impact that its readers can cherish for a long time to come.

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