A penguin parent assures a penguin child that love will always be there.
The bowling-pin–shaped adult penguin is purple and smiles affectionately at its rounded, slightly-brighter-purple little one, while qualifying the various circumstances that might modify the declaration in the opening pages: “I will never let you go.” “Except” continues the large penguin speaking to the small penguin, “when you need to go to the bathroom.” And eat lunch or draw a picture. “But other than that, little one…I will never let you go.” And then, amusingly, some more exceptions: “when you have to chase the stars,” “throw a tantrum,” “need some quiet time”—and finally: “want to play with your friends.” Here the little penguin is seen happily bouncing away to a group of young penguins but returning to give a reassuring hug to the loving big penguin and repeat the words: “I will never let you go.” The digitally colored brush, ink, and charcoal art is simple and clear, and the humor and truth of the exceptions woven into the hyperbolic promise of “never” keep the message of unconditional love (except possibly for that tantrum) from being saccharine or claustrophobic.
Just fine for an extra reading hug at bedtime. (Picture book. 18 mos.-4)