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ALWAYS IN MY HEART by Juliet Groom


by Juliet Groom ; illustrated by Róisín Hahessy

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-68010-557-5
Publisher: Tiger Tales

This heart-shaped board book offers an idealized model of unconditional parental love.

“You and me = we” ungrammatically begins and ends this sweet paean to love. A rotund penguin with pink cheeks assures a baby penguin that love is constant, whether they are together or apart, in rain or sunshine. Each page describes in rather vague terms a temporary separation of a caregiver and child—the caregiver riding a bus or train (perhaps to work) or the child spending a day with Grandpa. Occasional repetition of words or phrases keeps the meter consistent (if the grammar is occasionally not) while emphasizing the core message: “You’re right here with me—You’re here in my heart.” The seven pastel pages are cut in successively larger hearts to form a pleasing pastel rainbow and make it easy for little fingers to turn the pages. Key words and smaller vignettes are highlighted in decorative hearts on each page. A companion volume, You’re My Little Star, reiterates the same message of unqualified love using a layered star-shaped format. A doting owl tells an owlet, “There’s nothing you can’t do” and that the baby is the “warmest,” “coziest,” “comfiest,” “cutest,” “smartest,” “sweetest,” “sparkliest,” “brightest” star.

A worthy message that children need to hear marred by saccharinity and clunky grammar.

(Board book. 6 mos.-3)