GreenerViews Book Review

Will You Love Me Still? – By Valya Boutenkoep02_darryl-whalen

Over the past year on our podcast ( ), I’ve had the opportunity to interview many great people who are committed to fostering the well-being of the planet and its population.

Being that they are not local to our area, one particular family that’s always been on our “if only” wish list is the Boutenkos. They are one of the most inspiring groups of people shining brightly today in areas of health, wellness, and so much more.

The footprint that Victoria Boutenko made has moved the rest of her family to join her, honor her, and salute her with a flourish all their own. Take, for instance, Victoria Boutenko’s daughter Valya, who is the author of a children’s book entitled “Will You Love Me Still?”

It’s actually a bit difficult — and perhaps even a bit unfair of me — to participate in the process of reviewing the latest offering by Valya Boutenko. This is because I’m already a big fan and hold her impressive archive of work in such high regard, especially for someone who’s considered quite youthful. (I highly recommend several of the videos she’s produced.)

With that being said, I can (and will) be impartial and honest about the task at hand —

First, let it be noted that I’ve recently reached the half-century mark in earth years and do not have children, nor have I spent a large amount of time around kids. This is definitely a children’s book!

It’s the type of book that would not only be perfect for a parent who’s just begun to read to their child (or children), but also it’s a book that can be re-read and revisited for many years down the road.

It’s fun to look at and read, it’s durable, and it has a beautiful message.

The main message is about acceptance and loving someone through all the perfection of their imperfectness. Its short story is communicated between a young child and her cat, therefore possessing an endearing animal friendship element. At the end of the book, we get a brief opportunity to meet the cats who helped inspire the project, adding extra weight — as well as authenticity — to the tale.

As an adult reader of the book, I did feel that the message might have been extended just a little. Although we wish to be loved and strive to love despite any circumstance, a message that we will still be loved despite “anything we do” might encourage kids to think that they can just do anything and that will be alright. Perhaps we should also be encouraging our kids to act responsibly and that there are repercussions to some actions? Of course parents will love their children unconditionally, but that is not a free pass to act without consequences.

Despite this observation, I feel that Valya Boutenko has successfully created a positive and loving message in her book. And with the visual imagery contributed by Moscow illustrator Katya Korobkina, I’ll conclude by saying that any family (… “Raw” or otherwise…) would be well-served to have this item in their home.