Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg (text), Andrea Edmonds (illus.), Visiting You: a journey of love, Exisle/EK Books, March 2018, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781925335668
Visiting You takes its reader on a journey of love through a sense of community, family and memories. While embarking on a visiting journey with his mother, the character of the little boy narrates his observations, interactions, and similarities with others.
Each journey begins in a similar pattern; by identifying the mode of transport, whether that be the bus, train or ferry; before introducing the fellow passenger on their own visiting journey.
“Who are you going to visit?” The boy asks those sharing the journey. The answers he receives to this question reveal an insight into the lives of others and the love and loss which has influenced their lives.
I particularly enjoyed the way the illustrations used different colour tones to represent the present day, reminiscing and memory sharing. The travelled journey is full of colour and life, while the stories shared by fellow passengers are delivered in warm tones of creams, reds and dusty yellows, highlighting these moments as memories of the past.
The characters who shared the memories are from all walks of life; a husband who misses his passed wife, a girl whose grandfather has forgotten her, and a father who is separated from his daughter. The common theme among all the memories and relationships is the element of love and longing for those we love when we’re apart; and how sharing and basking in memories can make us feel connected with those we long to have near.
‘I miss her all the time,’ he says, and I can tell he loves her as much as I love you.
This story explores different journeys of love through relatable experiences and relationships; while encouraging the reader to recognise the similarities of memory we may share with others in our community.
Reviewed by Raquel Mayman