Kirkus Reviews QR Code
I LOVE YOU NEAR AND FAR by Marjorie Blain Parker


by Marjorie Blain Parker ; illustrated by Jed Henry

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0507-3
Publisher: Sterling

The rhyming story of a little cat who misses his grandmother and father, who both live far away.

With the world growing smaller and smaller, many children have relatives who live at a distance. Whether a parent is stationed abroad for the military or a grandmother happens to live across the country, children miss their beloved family, despite the connection that computers, letters and phone calls give. Speaking in the first person, this little kitty starts by placing pictures of Grandma and Dad on the big wall map. “I know that we live far away, far apart. / But I can still love you with all of my heart.” Packages and Skype-like sessions work well for a while, but there are times when the little kitty is just too sad to be apart. Soon, both grandmother and father are on the way, by taxi, train and plane, and a joyful reunion occurs, just in time, it seems, for the kitty’s birthday. The singsong rhyme will allow new readers to easily memorize this comforting book, and sunny illustrations, especially of Grandma knitting all sorts of sweaters, keep the tone light. Unfortunately, the soldier’s apparent ability to simply hop on a plane on a whim will seem cruelly unrealistic to children with deployed parents, whose schedules are dictated by the military—not by a child’s loneliness.

Well-intentioned but confusing at best and actively hurtful at worst. (Picture book. 3-5)