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"Raphael loves Jerome. I say it. It's easy."
This story follows a little boy named Raphael, whose daily rhythm is steeped in his immense affection for his friend Jerome. The two boys share jokes and snacks and plan future adventures to the Himalayas. Even when Raphael's constant talk of Jerome is driving his parents crazy, he remains steadfast: "Raphael loves Jerome. I can say it. It's easy." And the truth is, when he's with Jerome, Raphael feels happy, liked, and understood-- even special. Thomas Scotto's simple, strong, and insightful prose and Olivier Tallec's delightful, expressive illustrations give much emotion and immediacy to the story.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Originally published in France, this gentle, sweet-spirited story is a testament to the power of childhood friendship and the timeless power of love. The softly colored cartoonlike illustrations by Tallec perfectly capture the mood and spirit of the text, deftly translated by Bedrick and Snelson. The result is a book to treasure."--Michael Cart, Booklist "Some children will see simply two very good friends, while others will see validation of feelings they may not know how to express, particularly if their parents are as hostile as Raphael's. Raphael gives them the language they need: "I say--yes. Raphael loves Jerome. I say it. It's easy." Subtle, joyous, affirming. (Picture book. 4-8)" --STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"Against the smallness of his parents' perception, Raphael takes solace in the largeness that fills his own heart. [...] a crowning addition to the best LGBT children's books"--Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"People and settings are spare, but perfectly express the emotions and situations."--kyurenka, Youth Services Book Review
"Raphael, the young narrator of this groundbreaking picture book, loves his friend Jerome. "It doesn't bother me at all," the boy explains. "Raphael loves Jerome. I can say it. It's easy." [...] Although Raphael's parents never put a label on it, their son's intense affection for his friend and his unfiltered expression of it clearly bother them; Dad seethes, his voice "like sharp fish bones in my hot chocolate." But the bond between the boys is unbreakable, and as the book closes, they blithely walk across the street together, holding hands."--Publishers Weekly
"This flawless book is both a story of love but also the existence of adult dismissal and judgement of this kind of early love that sends young children deep into the closet without allowing them to freely be their true selves from childhood where their impulse to love who they love has yet to be formed by societies influences."--Jesica Sweedler, Wandering Bookseller