cover image Forever


Emma Dodd. Candlewick/Templar, $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7132-7

Dodd explored unwavering parental love in 2008’s No Matter What, and she revisits the theme in this gentle book featuring a polar bear parent and child. Displaying characteristic simplicity, Dodd writes in the calming voice of the elder bear (which could stand in for a mother, father, or any other guardian figure), who provides steady reassurances in good times and bad. The various scenarios dictate the tempo; a pair of upbeat lines (“When you’re happy, having fun,/ I feel happy, too./ When you giggle, play, and run,/ I laugh along with you”) is followed by a quieter one (“I do my best to cheer you up/ when you are feeling down.../ to see if I can make you smile/ and smooth away your frown”). Loose, black lines outline the bears, which are pictured against stark, snow-spattered backdrops of sea, sky, and mountains. With just the slightest squiggles, Dodd alters the cub’s facial expressions, broadcasting its swinging moods, while the larger bear’s comforting smile is a constant. Splashes of bold color—a vibrant blue sky, the northern lights—punctuate the wintry palette in this lovely bedtime read-aloud. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)