I Miss You Most
by Cassie Hoyt
Tellwell Talent

"We are singing and dancing to our favorite song. We are feeding lettuce to giraffes with necks so long."

Almost everyone has friends and family who they miss very much when they are absent. And of course, this is no different for even the youngest children among us. In this bright, cheerful children's picture book, author Hoyt presents a range of children, all imagining the fun and exciting things they would do with their loved ones if they were able to be together. Whether it's splashing around playfully in the swimming pool, chalk-drawing hearts and flowers on the sidewalk, singing together, or riding a bike, the imagination recalls fun activities the characters engage in as a way to remain connected when apart. In addition to these simple activities, Hoyt's book then moves on to the fantastical, such as pretending to be pirates on a ship full of treasure or astronaut explorers enjoying time on planet Mars—complete with a child-friendly little green alien buddy.

One crystal-clear strength of this book is the fact that all of the artwork—bold and bright and sugar for the eyes—specifically features family and friends, adults and children, from a wide variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, old, young, and more are all clearly represented. Each page of activity and the accompanying illustrations feature a new diverse set of people. Further, during a time where lockdowns and necessary limits on travel and in-person gatherings have become normal, there is no doubt that many people—children and adults alike—are physically and emotionally missing friends and family. As such, a new and timely picture book with this theme focused on this basic human emotion should appeal to a wide readership of both parents and children.

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