I MEANT TO TELL YOU by James Stevenson
Kirkus Star


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From a deliberately awkward first line--""I meant to tell you, before I forget""--to the final scene, in which a man, child, and dog walk away from readers down a beach, this newest intergenerational love letter from Stevenson (The Bones in the Cliff, 1995, etc.) has a wistful tone. A father assures his daughter (and himself, perhaps) that he does indeed remember taking her for walks as a toddler, having to leave her at nursery school for the first time and drive away, teaching her to ride a bike, helping her not to be afraid to jump off a dock (""You knew that I'd catch you""), as well as her drawing, dancing, and laughter--""It was a while ago . . . but I remember."" Stevenson displays his usual wizardry with a brush, expertly capturing moods and gestures, place and dress, even a page of potential jack-o'-lanterns (""No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Yes!"") with short strokes and a dab or two. Less anchored in the long-ago than his other recent picture-book reminiscences (Higher on the Door, 1987; July, 1990; etc.), this will inspire conversations between parents and children of any age.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Greenwillow