I guess, the meaning is the same. But it is written differently in Hebrew and it has a different translation to English. It was learned at the beginning, not sure if in Adjectives or Determiners. This book הספר הזה, this is the book זה הספר, so also this book is my favorite הספר הזה אהוב עליי, this is my favorite book זה הספר האהוב עליי.
The Hebrew is more romantic and poetic, I like it but in English the meaning is the same no matter where we put the words, This is my favorite book, This book is my favorite, correct? Sometimes we are spending too much time trying to figure out how to best translate versus the true meaning of the sentence.
Beth, in addition to other posted info, there actually can be a difference in usage. In a discussion of various books, you are might say, "After all the books we have discussed, THIS book is my favorite. But in a discussion of things that make you happy, you may talk about a favorite food, a favorite movie, a favorite vacation, and finally get to, "This is my favorite book."