Friday, March 09, 2018

That's the Glory of... LOVE by Matt De La Pena and Loren Long

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.

There are many ways to love, but they all begin with family, with parent and child, in Matt De La Pena's newest picture book, Love (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2018), illustrated lovingly by noted Caldecott artist Loren Long.

De La Pena, 2016 Newbery Award winner for Last Stop on Market Street, writes about love from the first experiences of the soft, warm smell of the crib. But new experiences come fast--the harsh sound of the fire alarm and the first visit to the park, with the big kids shoving past to climb up the slides. Step by step, mastery comes.

Soon you are running among them, and the echo of your laughter is love.

There are scary times when everyone gathers around the television set and speaks in low voices, sad times when they grieve the loss of one of them, and loud times when people laugh about fun times that came before.

There is love in the made-up stories your uncles tell.

And the man in rags outside the subway steps plays love notes that lift into the sky like tiny beacons of light.

Author De La Pena counts the many ways of love in a family in glad times and sad times, the power of love that enables the child to grow up and leave to find his own way in the world.

But it won't be luck you live with, because you'll have love.

It's another happy collaboration for Newbery Award author De La Pena, this time with the noted artist Loren Long, whose human figures and landscapes are both intimate and monumental in their impact. Says Kirkus Reviews, “From the moment prose and art appear in the opening spread, de la Peña and Long usher readers into a patient, pensive meditation on love. . . . Timely, timeless, and utterly necessary.”

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