The story “The Love Potion” is based on a traditional Ethiopian fable.  The main character is named Abel, the author describes Abel as a nervous, self-conscious young man who is madly in love with his childhood friend named Zala(Hiems, 2019). The plot of this story follows Abel on his journey to find a love potion to help him confess his feelings to Zala so he would be sure that she would reciprocate his feelings. This story is set in a small village in ancient Ethiopian. The theme of this story is shown when the author introduces the Mother Kamali, “the villages most clever elder and healer”(Hiems, 2019). Mother Kamali tells Abel that if he really “needs” a potion, that he needs to go out and collect a lion’s whisker for the potion(Hiems, 2019). This journey shows Abel that he is capable of collecting a whisker from a lion by slowly gaining its trust and asking for a whisker. He realizes that if it didn’t work out with one lion, he could try again with another lion. Once he brought the whisker to Mother Kamali, he understood that even though tasks seem scary and might fail, he can still try again because failure does not last forever(Hiems, 2019). He also learned that you can not force people to feel a certain way about him and if there was a way to do so, it would be wrong to do so.

The author uses sensory descriptive words such as, “powders bright as spring and others dull as mud”(Hiems, 2019). This sentence structure is called a simile because the author is comparing objects using the word “as”. The point of view of this story is from a narrator’s point of view where we are able to hear all of the character’s thoughts.  I believe this book would be appropriate to read to any child from the age of one and up. I believe this as the story demonstrates a simple explanation of people’s feelings and how we are unable to change how another feels about us. This story can help children understand how to connect with other children by being patient and using kind words. I believe this story would be very beneficial for young children to read because of the process of understanding concent, emotions, and how one should react if they are rejected.


Hiems, D., & Welden, A. (2019, January 29). The Love Potion from Stories Podcast. Retrieved February 1, 2019, from

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