When you are young love is this invisible thing that no one can really explain or define. It is this power that makes you miss your family when you are away from them, and that makes you delight in being with them again. It is the feeling that you have when you cuddle your pet and when it cuddles you back. Trying to understand what love is is hard, and yet in today’s picture book Matt de la Pena and Loren Long have found the perfect way to explore the nature of love. Their book is timeless and powerful, beautiful and thought-provoking.
Matt de la Pena
Illustrated by Loren Long
For ages 5 and up
Penguin, 2018, 978-1-5247-4091-7
You may think that love comes in only one form, but this is not the case. Love surrounds us and it comes in many forms, more than we can count or imagine.
Love can be seen in the eyes of our parents when they look down at us as we lie in a crib or a cradle. It is in the movements of a father and daughter as they dance together on the roof of a trailer. They may not have a fancy home or car, but these two share a tie that is boundless and strong.
On a hot summer day, when children play in sprinklers on the street, the echo of their laughter is the sound of love. Love can be found in the wrinkles on a grandfather’s face as he sits on a bucket so that he can fish with his grandchild. It is in the notes of music that the ragged busker makes as he sings outside the subway station.
Love is also that thing that sustains you when hard times come. When fires flare, and relationships fail it is there. When tragedies happen love is that thing that your people wrap around you so that you can feel safe. Is the thing that fills the arms that hold you, and it can be heard in the voices that comforts you.
Sometimes love can be found in places that you have to look hard to see, but when you do see it there you are lifted up.
This beautiful book celebrates love in a stunning and powerful way.