As loved ones leave this world, others arrive in this existential meditation on the cycle of life, an import from Mexico.
On the title page, a girl sits in an older woman’s lap, and together they read this very book: And So It Goes. Primitive representations of winged people and pets float across a blue background as the text matter-of-factly states “Some have already left”—this includes the neighbor’s cat, a beloved aunt, and the fish from a prior day’s meal. Yet even with these losses, there is cause for celebration as others are born and welcomed. Beautifully depicted tears and memories heal, and Valdivia offers the transcendent thought that those leaving and arriving “wish each other happiness” when their paths meet across the sky. Few words populate each page, yet the text is dense with meaning and the artwork rich with joy. Life and death are a mystery, and so readers are reminded to treasure their time here. Sophisticated concepts are visually explained while still leaving room for interpretation; repeat visits bring added depth and dimension. On the closing page, the girl, slightly older, returns to her chair and the book, with her loved one still close and dear.
A tribute to those who pass, a celebration of time here, and a multilayered rumination on the cycle of life. (Picture book. 4-8)