cover image I Love You Near and Far

I Love You Near and Far

Marjorie Blain Parker, illus. by Jed Henry. Sterling, $9.95 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4549-0507-3

A young anthropomorphic kitten comes to understand that, although her father and grandmother are far away (her father is in the military, and her grandma lives across the country), distance doesn’t weaken the bond she shares with them. (Modern technology and care packages help, too.) Henry keeps his mixed-media artwork simple, with solid colors and unadorned backgrounds, and Parker uses repetition to lullaby effect: “Wherever you live—if it’s near or it’s far.../ I love you wherever, wherever you are.” Moments of sadness are to be expected, Parker suggests (“But, sometimes, it just gets too hard to miss you”), though the ever-present support of the cat’s mother counterbalances the longing she feels for those separated by distance. Readers with absent family members should find solace in the gentle message. Ages 3–5. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Jan.)