cover image Will It Be Okay?

Will It Be Okay?

Crescent Dragonwagon, illus. by Jessica Love. Cameron Kids, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-951836-50-4

An unflappable and inventive parent reassures a worried child in Dragonwagon’s (And Then It Rained... and Then the Sun Came Out...) double character study, previously published in 1977 and now illustrated by Love (I Love You Because I Love You). “Will it be okay?” asks the child in an initial scene. “Yes, it will,” answers the parent. “But what if there is thunder and lightning?” asks the pale-skinned child, whose curly hair is piled high, huge eyes wide, hands clasped with concern. As the two kneel on a sofa, looking out at the storm, the parent, whose skin tone and curls mirror the child’s, introduces a reframe: “the loud thunder is calling you, saying: Look, look! The world is receiving a deep long drink!” About forgetting one’s lines: “You make up new ones.” The questions lead at last to one of deepest dread: “But what if you die?” The child, seated on the adult’s chest, gazes into their face. “My loving doesn’t die,” the caretaker says. “When you remember me, you say: What can I do with so much love? I will have to give some away.” With empathy, the creators imagine a parent with an uncanny ability to hear a child’s concerns, to hold the emotions that accompany them, and to think and talk about them. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Victoria Wells Arms, Wells Arms Literary/HG Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, DeFiore & Co. (Sept.)