An entry in the “I love you and here are some words of wisdom” genre.
The declarative voice here is that of a father, and the figures depicted are human—two grown men and a small child. One is possibly a grandfather, and the younger (or at least slimmer) grown figure seems to be doing most of the parenting. All three figures present white in the illustrations. Brief phrases offer a combination of reassurance (“Time will come soon enough to be big”), advice (“Assemble the maps. But set your own compass”), and hope (“I will stay in your heart. Watching along the way”), with at least one sentimental overreach (“You were born perfect. And it is up to you to stay that way”). The child is very young (“you have yet to grow your two front teeth”—presumably meaning the permanent teeth) and has round dot eyes and a small button nose. The edge-to-edge pencil and watercolor illustration offers a series of vignettes—plowing (with the child atop the horse), apple-picking (the child teetering precariously atop a ladder), tree-climbing, fishing. The lines are animated, the colors fairly muted. While parents and grandparents may get more out of this than a child, the loving, if slightly nebulous, message is heartfelt, and its intent will be clear to a young listener.
Anodyne. (Picture book. 2-5)