cover image You’ll Always Be My Chickadee

You’ll Always Be My Chickadee

Kate Hosford, illus. by Sarah Gonzales. Chronicle, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-79721-437-5

“Busy birdsong, breaking dawn,/ melodies above the lawn.// Fly right over here to me./ You’ll always be my chickadee.” In a snuggly book that unfolds over the course of a day spent outdoors, Hosford uses expressive, nature-filled rhymes to capture the adoring relationship between a caregiver and child. Time outside provides inspiration for pet names that refer to the beloved variably as a “sugar beet,” “forest friend,” “midday sun,” and more. Undulating hues mark Gonzales’s light-filled gouache, watercolor, and pencil scenes of the brown-skinned child and an adult companion hiking, taking a cold river plunge, and observing a variety of critters, including butterflies, cows, and snails. As day shifts to night, and images move toward the domestic, a sleepy mood underlines the book’s feel of absorbing tenderness across place and time: “Hugs and kisses, cozy bed,/ wondrous dreams are still ahead.// No matter where we choose to roam,// you’ll always be my/ heart and home.” Ages 3–5. (Apr.)