Important books come along every now and then and this is just such a book.
In this world that seems to want to categorize and limit children by their geography, their language, their skin color, their parents’ checking account balance, the intrinsic value of each human being and the love that is their birthright now has a champion and a celebration.
This beautiful, deeply felt and passionately poetic clarion call fiercely reclaims the gift of love for every child no matter where they live, how much money they have, or the color of their skin.
The story leads us on an essential human journey into city neighborhoods, trailer parks, concrete parks and subway stations in search of the glorious presence of love.
It isn’t always sparkling. Sometimes love is in the faces of brothers near radiators and sometimes it shows up as skinny boy legs and a plate of burnt toast. Sometimes it’s in the determined steps of a loved one leaving for work in the darkness before the dawn. Sometimes it's in the nature around us.
Every child can learn to look for love, to discover it and gather it in to themselves. This story takes us into spaces to find love. It may be spreading itself out through a "crowded concrete park," and it may be cuddling you when a "fire alarm blares, you're pulled from sleep and whisked into the street." It's there when life delivers loss and change that fill us with pain. Love is beaming "each night the sky above your trailer turns the color of love."
This celebration of love leads us from weathered faces to storytelling relatives and back to discover love waiting in the familiar look of our own faces. It delivers two special gifts: we are lovable and we have love to give.
Sometimes it can feel as though all those songs of love are meant for someone else. It's as though love gets reserved for certain kinds of people. It's so important to teach all children that love belongs to them. That they are love and the people around them hold love and the world itself holds love that belongs to them.
Love is for each of us. It nestles within us and we can reach out and touch it in our world no matter where we are night and day, on the rainy days and on the sunny days. It is always there and as we grow up and set forth on our own journeys that love packs up its bags and comes right along with us..... our very best partner in life, born into us, never deserting us, and touching each and every single one of us.
Powerful, one size fits all, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet....this thing called love lives in you, in your life, in your neighborhood and can never be diminished or segregated.
Each of the brilliant illustrations by Loren Long is of a unique moment in a life. Each one holds a look, a feeling, and a powerful dramatic chance for connection... an opportunity to see love surrounding us and filling us with a warmth and a sense of belonging and where we can create love for someone else or for ourselves. They are as though time has stopped for a moment so we can really see what is happening in that place and between those people. They give us a chance to look more closely and see more clearly.
The words diverse, diversity, different, acceptance, multicultural include us all. We are all different. This will challenge each reader to open their own hearts and love to accept and celebrate the love in each and every one and to recognize the bonds that connect us. This story offers a promise to every child that love is hers/his/theirs.
We're looking at a classic.
40 pages 978-1524740917 Ages 4-9 (adults are welcome here too)
Illustrated by Loren Long
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Pena and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all. "In the beginning there is light and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed and the sound of their voices is love. ... A cab driver plays love softly on his radio while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city and everything smells new, and it smells like life."
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Pena and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that's soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age