cover image Love You Always

Love You Always

Eileen Spinelli, illus. by Gillian Flint. Ideals, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8249-5686-8

Spinelli (Thankful) composes a breezy, reassuring ode to the people in children’s lives who love them. Her poem moves from family member to family member (“Seasons come and seasons go./ Mama loves you always./ Sometimes rain and sometimes snow./ Mama loves you always”), checking fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even a family friend off the list. Mixing curving ink lines with warm splashes of watercolor and crayon, British illustrator Flint highlights an array of families in bucolic scenes of play: a girl and her mother toss autumn leaves into the air, a father helps his daughter collect fireflies in a jar, and a grandmother reads to two children snuggled under blankets; most of the families are white, though a few have brown skin. Many scenes simply focus on the children playing on their own, a subtle suggestion, perhaps, that although their families are very present, these kids have room to explore and experience things on their own—support without smothering. Ages 4–7. Author’s agency: John Hawkins & Associates. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Sept.)