cover image Love Waves

Love Waves

Rosemary Wells. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4989-0

Wells addresses a familiar theme%E2%80%94familial love spanning distances%E2%80%94in a fresh and clever way that will feel innately true to readers of any age. The book's two sections each begin with a mother and father hugging their child before leaving for work. Rather than dwelling on the child's feelings, Wells (the Max and Ruby books) focuses on the adults, making it clear that their offspring always dominates their thoughts. As the mother serves tea in a caf%C3%A9, she ponders what her child might be doing: "Soon I wonder where you are:/ Zooming in your racing car?/ Swinging high above the trees?/ Eating honey with your peas?" To bridge the distance between them, she sends a "love wave" that loops through the air to deliver the message, "I'm coming home!" (The waves themselves are depicted as curling foil ribbons that swirl across the pages.) A similar scenario plays out at the father's office. With cozy pastel scenes and gentle verse, Wells makes tangible the powerful emotional connection between parent and child, reminding children that longing and, more importantly, love are both two-way streets. Ages 3%E2%80%937. (Sept.)