BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

How Far Do You Love Me? by Lulu Delacre, translated by Verónica Betancourt

How Far Do You Love MeParents, listen up: here’s a heart-fluttering game to play with your kiddies, especially perfect just before bedtime to send the little ones off to slumberland. It’s as simple as asking the question that is this title, ‘How far do you love me?” and then let the imagination roam around the world and beyond …

“I love you to the stop of the peaks / lit by the morning,” a mother tells her young daughter riding high astride her shoulders overlooking the Grand Canyon. And “[t]o the meeting of the sun and the mist / painting a rainbow curve,” a father assures his little boy on the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania.

“I love you to the crests of the desert / where the wind sweeps sand from the dunes,” an Egyptian mother shrouded in niqāb and abaya soothes the swaddled bundle in her arms. And “[t]o the crown of the eucalyptus tree / tickling the belly of the sky,” an Australian father hugs his growing son as they gaze up together at the branches high above on Kangaroo Island.

Most important of all, love, of course, can’t be contained: “And I love you farther than the stars, / to the space beyond the space we know, / where light becomes love / that nestle deep, / deep inside you.”

Author and illustrator Lulu Delacre, a thrice-winning Pura Belpré Award honoree, traveled through time and space, in dreams and reality, with her daughters when they were growing up, as she explains in her author’s note (with map) at book’s end. The mention of her daughters is especially heartwrenching: in 2004, Delacre lost daughter Alicia, who was just 16 when she was killed in an auto accident. Delacre channeled that devastating tragedy and hopeful recovery into her remarkable 2007 young adult title, Alicia Afterimage, in which she surely sojourned to that “space beyond the space we know” to reunite, even momentarily, with her beloved child. Here in her latest title – translated by daughter Verónica Betancourt – Delacre affirms that ‘how far do you love me?’ will always be a shared, unbound journey of endless love.

Readers: Children

Published: 2013


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