Wherever You’ll Be

Flamingo. Jul. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593206539.
PreS-K–“Wherever you’ll be…/ I’ll be thinking of you./ I’ll blow you a kiss./ You blow me one too.” In simple verse with this refrain, a mother reassures her little girl about their day apart. Parallel illustrations show the white mother’s activities at work alongside the white child’s typical preschool day: mother with her headphones on, girl learning a song at school; mother at a conference table with a Black colleague, child on the floor making a mural with a brown friend; coffee break at the office, snack time in school. At the end of the day they’ll be together again and all will be well. The pages are beautifully designed and employ pastels and colored pencils to create a grainy effect with crisp edges and no outlines. Combined with a muted palette and genial faces of shades from dark brown to peach, the impact is serene.
VERDICT A necessary first look at first days, this gentle book has a similar message to Audrey Penn’s The Kissing Hand.

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