The theme of unconditional love, in both good and bad times, is offered in rhyme alongside pictures of loving pairs of animals.
In the canon of “I love you so much” titles, the shelves are full of devotion to parenting. Prasadam-Halls offers another title that illustrates a wide range of emotions. Love, naughtiness, fear, excitement, sadness, and even questioning all take a turn through this rotation of parent watchfulness. The rhyming verse, with its repetitive cadence, is a bit lumpy, but it is bolstered by comforting full-spread artwork by Brown. Rendered in acrylic paint and colored pencil, each youngster-and-parent depiction exudes connection and protection. Rabbits gingerly cross a river on steppingstones, a joey bounces with abandon, and a baby owl sleeps while the parent stands guard. “When you are sad and troubled with fears, / I hold you close and dry all your tears.” Whether the pairs are koalas or crocodiles, all the animals are androgynous, making the images work for single moms and dads. Though the book cycles through many moods, the feeling of constant presence is clear. The last lines, echoing the premise of the whole book, will be reassuring to most. “For when you are high and when you are low, / I’ll be holding you tight… // …and I'll never let go.” Sweet though it is, though, there’s nothing fresh about it.
Not really high or low, this effort takes the middle road. (Picture book. 2-5)