Jerome by Heart
Jerome by Heart

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Annotation: A young boy expresses his love for his friend Jerome.
Catalog Number: #182073
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Enchanted Lion
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Tallec, Olivier,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-592-70250-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4409-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-592-70250-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4409-6
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017054358
Dimensions: 22 x 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
In a bittersweet story of a tender bond between narrator Raphael and his friend Jerome, the opening illustration shows the boys riding bicycles hand-in-hand. Their obliviousness to the traffic jam behind them creates humor but also anticipates their need to ignore others' judgment. Raphael's righteous anger at his parents' disapproval fuels his resolve in the poignant (and satisfying) conclusion to remain loyal to Jerome and to his own heart.
Publishers Weekly
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.- Jerome is caring, generous, funny, and always ready for adventure. Most important, he reciprocates Raphael-s affection (-He always holds my hand. It-s true. Really tight-), even though there are intimations that Jerome is more socially adept: -Jerome always sees me, even when he-s with friends.... He defends me when kids make fun of me. Incredible, right?- 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. The story invites conversation among readers of all ages, and the sensitivity of the minimalist text (despite a few overwrought moments) and poignancy of Tallec-s radiant, gentle art are undeniable. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Two little boys share an intense friendship.Narrator Raphael "loves Jerome"—saying it is "easy." Raphael doesn't understand why his mother dismisses Jerome as "charming" or why his father says "it's ‘a pity' that Jerome doesn't play soccer." Jerome "always sees" Raphael, shares snacks, defends Raphael against bullies, and tells great stories. Spending a day with Jerome is pure nourishment for Raphael: "By lunch, we've laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. And by dinner, I've stocked up enough of Jerome to last me the whole night." Tallec's loose line-and-watercolor paintings use gentle humor to introduce them, placing the two boys on bikes, side by side and hand in hand, in front of a line of clearly slowly moving cars: So happy are they that they do not notice. He situates the two boys in scenes suffused in warm colors, their body language mirroring each other's, as do their pale skin and round, red heads. But when Raphael's parents get uptight about this bond, the palette darkens to cold, lonely blues. The text is open enough that readers will take what they need from the story. 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)
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Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: 1-4

"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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