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Jerome By Heart
Raphael loves his friend Jerome, who holds his hand and chooses him for a buddy on field trips. Jerome, who is fun to be with and makes Raphael feel safe. Raphael’s parents think he talks and thinks too much about Jerome. “Now that’s enough,” says his dad. “Dad’s voice is like sharp fish bones in my hot chocolate.” But Raphael knows “Jerome” is not a bad word, and is determined to find the perfect gift for his friend, who is always up for an adventure, and would never hide his head in shame. “Raphael loves Jerome. I can say it. It’s easy.” Illustrations that are soft yet slightly quirky showcase the deep and genuine affection between the two boys, and the temporary dissonance and isolation caused by adult disproval before Raphael affirms feelings that bring him such contentment and joy. This welcome picture book offers sweet and essential confirmation of emotions that children are too often encouraged to deny or suppress, particularly when it comes to same-gender friendships, and especially between boys. ©2019 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Illustrated by Olivier Tallec
CCBC Age Recommendation: Ages 4-8
Age Range: PreK-Early Elementary (Ages 4-7) Grades 3-5 (Ages 8-10)
Format: Picture book
Subjects: Feelings/Emotions Friendship Gays LGBTQ+ Persons
Diversity subjects: Gender Nonconformity LGBTQ Character/Topic LGBTQ Innuendo
Publish Year: 2018
CCBC Location: Picture Book, Scotto
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