“I love you,” Dimitri tells everyone, from his friends at nursery to the ants in the playground. But why doesn’t anyone say it back? Dimitri worries that no-one loves him, until he discovers that there are many ways love can spread through the world.
Written by Jane Porter, illustrated by Maisie Paradise Shearring, published by Walker Books. WINNER of the 2020 Little Rebels Award! Chosen by Amnesty International as a book to inspire activism. Shortlisted for the 2021 Derby Children’s Picture Book Award. Christopher Award Winner 2022. To buy the book, click here.
This is my first book as author-only, and I am SO happy to have collaborated on it with Maisie Paradise Shearring (pictured above right) as illustrator. It’s based on real life – you can read all about the story behind the story here. There’s also a blogpost at The Picture Book Box including an interview with me and Maisie, and another at Picture Book Party.
“A gentle, resonant narrative for children navigating new social-emotional spaces. Starred review.” Publishers Weekly
“Tenderness and warmth emanate from both Jane Porter’s telling and Maisie Paradise Shearring’s illustrations in this book about the power of kindness” Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub
“Gorgeous, heartwarming book full of representative, individual, empathetic characters. Totally smitten!” Jasmine Tucker, Education Manager at Pop Up Projects
“A heartwarming exploration of different ways to express love, as well as a look at the positive effects of one loving boy on the mood of a classroom. Viewers who need a pick-me-up can look here for a story to make them smile, and kids nervous about fitting into new settings may find reassurance in Dimitri’s story.” Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books
“This book is just so, so lovely that I actually found myself welling up when reading it …gentle and warm and kind-hearted without being saccharine. Perfect for teaching children about empathy but also nice to share at bedtime.” Hannah Middleton, Peters Books
“A wonderful, hope-filled gem” The Picture Book Box
“A must-have…one of the most powerful picture books I’ve ever seen” Karl Newson, author
“This is a beautifully researched and considered picture book… there is such warmth and empathy in this story, and such joy in Dimitri’s delight in his world. I Love You ‘The Boy Who Loved Everyone’. Bookwagon
“Didactic…but in the sweetest way” Evening Standard
“A rich, uplifting story… highly recommended” The English Association
“Thoughtful and inspiring… a beautiful book” Chosen by both James Mayhew and Candy Gourlay for Booktrust’s ‘Best Children’s Books of 2019’
“A touching tale with a theme of emotional honesty and intelligence” Booktrust
“This heart-warming read packs an emotional punch… a perfect end of the day read-aloud” Just Imagine
“Both Jane Porter’s telling, which was inspired by a little boy from her nursery art sessions, and Maisie Paradise Shearring’s richly detailed illustrations exude warmth and tenderness…Perfect for sharing with little ones at home or in early years settings” Books for Keeps
“A story that will lift the spirits” Armadillo Magazine
“A warm, cosy story about the many ways we feel and show love, this comes with super-busy yet uncluttered illustrations that feel like a welcoming hug, embracing all children: those who make up the story and those who read it.” Children’s Books Ireland
“There’s a lot to love about this one. It’s a big-hearted story, one that Porter handles with finesse.” Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
“A tender story of a child full of love learning the many ways it can be expressed. . .This snug lesson complements the many stories of shy children coping with their emotions in new environments. A loving tale.” School Library Journal
“A quiet and heartwarming story that models a journey in social-emotional development. A book for sharing, learning, and loving—one another and ourselves. ” Kirkus Reviews
If you’d like to see more of the book, I’ve made a couple of videos about it which you can watch here: