A dad-side complement to Love You Forever.
As the book opens, the unnamed dad tucks his wee infant daughter in and whispers, “You are the most wonderful girl in the world,” in her ear. He whispers like loving affirmations every night as the baby grows to toddlerhood and beyond, adapting his statements to her developmental stage and her activities. But where Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw’s mother’s helicopter tendencies achieved pathological status, this dad seems to support his daughter’s maturation. When she moves “far away,” he is present only as a photo in her apartment and his remembered voice encouraging her through the inevitable difficulties of independence. But when he ails, she returns with her own babe in arms to care for him, whispering affirmations first in his sleeping ear and then her own infant’s. Torrent’s naïve-style illustrations are suffused with warm hues, visually reinforcing the paternal love the book expresses, though at times compositions are a little hard to decode. The dad presents white while the daughter has East Asian features; there is no other parent in evidence, allowing readers to see a single dad, a transracial adoption, and/or an interracial family with another parent simply out of the frame.
Will this book have grown adults breaking down in tears in children’s sections as Love You Forever is wont to do? That remains to be seen, but at least it offers a storyline without breaking and entering. (Picture book. 4-7)