Dimitri is a fun loving boy. He would profess his love to anything he sees, ants, a tree with heart-shaped leaves, the class guinea pig and the paintbrushes in art. He thinks the phrase “I love you” can be said easily; he was totally disappointed when nobody says it back. This happy young boy who just started pre-school could not believe that these magical words can be a struggle for some people to say. However, for Dimitri, saying “I love you” feels like a reflex, especially when it comes to his parents or people around him. On the second day, he was too sad to return to school because no one said that they loved him. Dimitri’s mom’s wise words will teach all readers to understand that people show their love in different ways and some people do not profess their love due to the way they were raised.
After reading this book, I discussed with my students that saying "I love you" may feel natural to some but it can bring up a lot of discomfort especially to those who grew up with parents who were not vocal with their feelings, even though they loved them very much. I went on discussing the concept of “5 love language” by Gary Chapman. Sometimes words can come easily to others, some use their love language in a different way. I talked about ways to express our love for example, by doing kind things for others, by physical touch such as a hug or pat on your back, giving gifts, or by spending quality time together. I shared the utterly heart-warming pages to show how those around Dimitri open their hearts to him with expressions of kindness and consideration with no limits. This is indeed a special book to discuss with children about love language, so that they will not shy away from these magical words "I love you."