The Boy Who Loved Everyone is about a young boy named, Dimitri, who tells everyone and everything he loves them. Each time he says it they either don’t say anything back or brush him aside. He is confused why no one seems to care and shares his feelings with his mother. She tells him that people express their love in different ways and to try to find the ways that they are showing it. Dimitri notices the old man at the park feeding stray cats, people waving to him, and his friend at school requesting to sit next to him. Despite not saying “I love you” back, everyone is passing along the energy of kindness that he started.
There are many things that I love about this book aside from its inspiring message. First, it is full of diverse characters. Dimitri’s teacher, his mother, and many of the other people in the book have brown skin. To have this in a book that is not explicitly about POC is a rarity. Second, the illustrations are intricately detailed and convey each location perfectly. For example, at Dimitri’s preschool kids are playing with each other’s hair, hugging the teacher, and have their shoes and socks half off. All of these things you would expect at a preschool. I love how the illustrator was able to capture those moments perfectly. It also subconsciously depicts a welcoming environment. Finally, this story leaves the reader with a feeling of warmth and desire to be like Dimitri and spread kindness in our own life.
To pair with the book we cut out hearts and wrote a special message on them for each member of the family!
Author: Jane Porter, illustrator
Illustrator: Illustrations by Maisie Paradise Shearring
Publisher: Candlewick Press – Welcome
I was kindly given this book for my honest review but all opinions are my own.
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