How Far Do You Love Me?
Written & Illustrated by Lulu Delacre
Lee & Low Books. 2013 • 40 pages
Hardcover ($11.95)
ISBN: 978-1-60060-882-7
Ages 4-8

The award-winning author/illustrator of The Storyteller’s Candle and Arrorró, mi niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games (both published by Lee & Low and recipients of Pura Pelpré Awards), delivers another work worthy of notable recognition. With the simple question “How far do you love me?” Delacre invites readers to join her on a journey across all seven continents.

In this short picture book, the question becomes a loving game played between mother and child, both conjuring up far off places where one’s love would be able to reach. Each page spread portrays a different destination conveyed by Delacre’s beautifully crafted illustrations that reveal nature-infused scenes such as the Serengeti Plain in Tanzania and a lavender field in Provence, France, and includes fathers or mothers interacting with their children.

Read Related: The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos

Throughout the book we sense a secondary thread—that all cultures carry a reverence for children—as we witness a small joyful face peer out from inside a boat in Vietnam, or a small silhouette grabbing the hand of her guide as they snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. In the end, as the original child falls asleep in his bed, it appears that the mother has extended the game further still by taking her love for her child “beyond the space we know, where light becomes love.” It is a comforting message that a parent’s love can and does extend beyond this universe.

This quick read carries the added benefit of exposing young readers to both poetic verse and world geography. A map of the world is included at the end of the book pinpointing all the locations represented in the story. The book should inspire parents to play a similar game with their children and have both dreaming of distant lands and of the many languages of love.

—Reviewed by Kacy Vega, Arizona State University