The Boy Who Loved Everyone by Jane Porter is an enduring story about having a big heart and learning there are many ways to show how we feel. Dimitri says, "I love you" to everyone and many things. He tells his friends at preschool. He tells the class guinea pig, the paintbrushes, and the ants on the playground. His friends either giggle or blush when he tells them how he feels and no one ever said it back to him. This made him feel quite sad and wanting to stay home one day.
He shares his sadness with his mom on a walk and she gently guides his heart with these words.
"When you tell people you love them," she said, "even if they don't say it back or show it, they feel it. That's just the way love is. It can't help but spread and grow."
As their walk continues, she points out love being shown in different formats. A man is feed stray cats in the park tunafish. A friend from preschool waves at him. Preschool friends are feeding the birds as he arrives for the next day of school. The ending reminds us love comes in many forms and takes time. I'm so glad I met Dimitri. I think we could all use a little Dimitri in our lives.
Illustrator Maisi Paradise Shearring used mixed media to create colorful detailed illustrations. I felt like I was right there with Dimitri on his journey.
A huge shoutout to Candlewick Press for sending along this Advanced Reader Copy.