Jerome By Heart


Raphael knows ‘Jerome By Heart’. Jerome sees him, even when he’s with friends. He shares his snacks and holds his hand tight when they’re together. They laugh real belly laughs together.

Raphael’s mother thinks Jerome is charming but does not really ‘see’ her son’s friend. Raphael’s father is disappointed that Jerome does not play soccer. Raphael knows they do not want him to talk about Jerome any more.  it does not matter, for Raphael loves Jerome. Knowing that is a fortress around Jerome, and Raphael too.

‘Jerome By Heart’ is a unique book about friendship and loneliness, fear and constancy. There is much to be read in the words and pictures, but as much to read in what is left unsaid. The way that Olivier Tallec has elongated, and then constricted, Raphael’s adults, and depicted Raphael and Jerome as jigsaw piece fitting characters, is considered and telling.

This book is one for contemplation, discussion and keeping. It acknowledges children’s fears, securities and emotions. ‘Jerome By Heart’ is exceptional.

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Jerome By Heart

Words by Thomas Scotto, illustrations by Olivier Tallec

(Enchanted Lion Books)– hardback

Raphael loves Jerome. I can say it. It’s easy.‘ Why does Raphael love Jerome? Why does Jerome hold Raphael’s hand tight? What is it that makes them laugh so hard that by lunch, their stomachs hurt? Does it matter that Jerome doesn’t play soccer? Raphael loves ‘Jerome By Heart’. 


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