In this fun, heart-filled book, a child is missing a special person who lives very far away. Their missing isn’t sappy or sentimental. No. No. No, it isn’t. It’s expressed in a childlike way.
I’ll see you.
you are there.
And I am here.
So very far apart.
Notice the rain as a metaphor for tears.
The child is impatient, of course, as all children are. They want to see their special person “Right this minute.” This illustration shows and acknowledges the child’s sadness (now with real tears), a joyful memory that brings on the sadness, while the text expresses the child’s impatience. A perfect marriage of showing and telling.
I want to
hop on a rocket.
OR strap on a jet pack.
Or build my own catapult.
So I can fly through the sky,
land in your yard, and knock on your door.
Would you be surprised?
But the child knows this is impossible….because of mundane things like school, soccer, and parental jobs.
Plus, rockets and jet packs and catapults cost money.
Even if you build them yourself.
Every time I read this, I smile. So true to a child’s logic. PZM is wearing the cloak of childhood completely in this narrative. The illustrations by Suzy Lee, drawn in a child’s naive style on what could possibly be construction paper, are also pitch perfect. Die cuts add humor and surprise as you move through the pages. Can you spot the cuts in the pages above?
The narrative plays out other scenarios for how children now cross the distance barrier, through phones and computers, all with humorous results. But none of these visits are as satisfying as being with the special person they love. In the end or “someday soon,” the child finally finally finally gets that hug of love they’ve been pining for all along. The last illustration, with an overturned chair, spilled coffee mug, and strewn papers, shows just how much that special person has been missing the child, too.
This book is a beautiful container for all the feelings that kids (and adults) have about missing someone and wanting to be with them. It’s told in a funny and poignant way. Happily, never sappily.
My prediction? Another NYTimes best seller that’s going to become part of many permanent home collections.
Write a letter to someone you miss. Imagine all of the different ways you can get there (that don’t include planes, trains, or cars). Make a map of your travels and different transportation devices, and send your map with the letter.
Make a list of all the fun things you enjoy doing with your special person (people). Draw pictures of those activities, and send each picture (without any words) to your special person to remind them of all the things you will do or have done together.
Pair this book with Nonni’s Moon by Julia Inserro, illustrated by Lucy Smith.
Title: See You Someday Soon
Author: Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator: Suzy Lee
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2022
Themes: missing someone, love, imagination
Ages: Pre-K through 3rd grade
For more perfect picture book recommendations, please visit Susanna Hill’s website.