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Title: Love
Author: Matt de la Pena
Illustrator: Loren Long
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (2018)
ISBN: 9781524740917
Matt de la Pena’s prose and Loren Long’s illustrations define love in multiple scenarios. The book opens with parents lovingly gazing at their new baby. “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.” A cabdriver plays music, a boy in a wheelchair shares food with a homeless man and a girl and her father dance on the roof of their mobile home. Children play in sprinklers and jump rope in a concrete park. Families watch the stars, play hide and seek and a mother embraces a child after a troubling dream. Love is also in nature, “in the rustling leaves of gnarled trees lined behind the flower fields.” Matt de la Pena sensitively reminds the reader that “the face staring back in the bathroom mirror—this, too, is love.”

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