Cut-paper collages encourage readers to remember that “love wins,” even during painful, confusing times.
Berger populates this buoying book with people of all hues, genders, and love configurations: same-sex couples, adoptive parents, old partners, young lovebirds, interracial couples, children, lots of pets. They stand together, aligned in a powerful, peaceful phalanx (many holding LOVE banners and posters) on the final pages—three double-page spreads of little people in long, long lines. Studying the artwork’s embedded ephemera (handwritten letters, grid papers, old catalogs, and clippings) evokes thoughts about how humans can connect across time. Between the book’s rallying beginning and end, succinct, powerful illustrations depict the worry and sadness that surface in both a small child’s life and the grown-up world. A brown-skinned girl tries (literally) to lift a heavy heart (shape) off the ground; a dragon hovers in an enveloping dark sky; fog makes a path forward hard to see. Berger reminds readers that there are helpers, always, “steady as stone,” with a palm outstretched, open, offering a smooth rock. Accompanying a picture of a handshake (one dark-skinned and another light-skinned), she asserts “we are stronger together.” Adults might hear echoes of a recent campaign, but children will see only the linking of hands atop a fertile green backdrop and recognize an empowering affirmation.
An earnest, moving expression of what the world needs now—and what children have always needed: love, sweet love. (Picture book. 2-10)