What I Like Most
By Mary Murphy
Illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang
Reviewed by Inda Ahmad Zahri
This simple story stole my heart. It starts with a humble statement by a little girl about what she likes most in the world, and why. Except that she has this other thing that she likes, and tells us about that, too.
So, slowly but surely it turns into a list, which turns into memories, and along the way, every single thing from windows to apricot jam, to rivers, to chips are given its place as ‘favourite thing’ in its entirety.
Mary has captured the beautiful honest appreciation and near-obsession that we recognise in the little people in our lives. How such little things can be loved so whole-heartedly, even if just for a moment. ‘One day the shoes will wear out,’ or ‘Maybe when I’m bigger I won’t want to read it every day,’ but … ‘for now it is what I like most in the world.’
Cheng-Liang’s illustrations which are warm, innocent and playful are perfect for this story and really brings a magic to the narrative. I later discover that the magic he infused in his illustrations was for good reason, as the main character was based on his grand-daughter, Fiona.
Of course, the best part is at the end, when we find that even though lots of things can change, some things remain the same for always.