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I’LL LOVE YOU FROM AFAR by Racha Mourtada


by Racha Mourtada ; illustrated by Sasha Haddad

Pub Date: Sept. 7th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-06-313888-9
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Ideal for those inevitable times when friends and loved ones are far away.

Beginning with an illustration of a child atop a lighthouse searching the seas through a spyglass and ending with the lighthouse’s beacon of love shining out into the night, this rhyming text sends an optimistic message of patient and enduring love. “Sorry I can’t see you. / You’re oh so far away! / But don’t you worry, / I’m in no hurry, / My love is here to stay.” Befitting the universal theme, different children and situations are depicted with each stanza, with no clearly identified speaker or recipient maintained consistently throughout. The sentiment is voiced from the shore, the playground, the city. Wherever the speaker is—the depths of the ocean, the limits of space, the isolation of one of the poles (alas, an inaccurate illustration pairs an igloo and a penguin, with a White child depicted in Arctic Native furs)—they will miss their loved one. The illustrations, done in an appropriately calm palette, show a wide range of racial and gender presentations as the scenes change. To a troubled friend across the alley, a kid in a wheelchair offers, “You can blow all your troubles / Into some bubbles, / And I’ll pop them at no extra charge.” The timing suggests yet another Covid-19 picture-book response, but the sentiment is evergreen. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A loving missive for anyone missing friends and family.

(Picture book. 3-8)