Always

( 4 )

Overview

How deep is the bond between a child and a beloved pet? And how far will a pet go to protect his dear friend? To the ends of the earth . . . always. Alison McGhee, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, gives voice to the love that knows no bounds in this gentle and poignant picture book about friendship, loyalty, and most of all, love.

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Overview

How deep is the bond between a child and a beloved pet? And how far will a pet go to protect his dear friend? To the ends of the earth . . . always. Alison McGhee, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, gives voice to the love that knows no bounds in this gentle and poignant picture book about friendship, loyalty, and most of all, love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The author of Someday pens another declaration of love-this time in frankly comic mode. A girl in overalls sits on the front porch of her little wooden house. "I am the keeper of the castle," her diminutive spotted pooch tells her, one paw on his chest, the other held dramatically out to the side. "And I will keep the castle safe." In successive spreads, Lemaître (Doctor Ted) shows the dog in roguish scenes of derring-do: fighting a duel with a furry enemy atop the peak of the roof ("I will tame the squirrels") and barking at a gang of mouse pirates whose ship's sail is a sock ("I will chase away evil"). The dog's statements grow ever more grandiose: "I will divert meteors," he says, standing on a chimney armed with a baseball bat. "Why, you ask?" the canine Cyrano asks in closing, as the girl scoops him up and cradles him in her hands. "Because you live here." Succinct, funny and, in its way, action-packed, this is written in the universal language of affection-only the stonyhearted could withstand its charms. Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Sometimes the best friend a child can have is a dog. A good dog is unquestionably loyal, offers unconditional love, and grants a sense of security in an unpredictable world. Utilizing very few words, this story tells of the love and companionship between dog and child. The digitally-colored pencil drawings of an appealing little white pup with a brown marking around one eye bring to life the ways this little guy guards his home and the ways his imagination has him guarding "the castle." He tames the squirrels and calms the sea. He guards against monsters and protects the blanket. Meanwhile, the young girl sleeps soundly while her pet is on the job. Why does the pup do all these chores and dream of even more adventuresome moves to protect the house?—because, it is the little girl's home, of course. This is a beautiful little book with a heartwarming story perfect to read at bedtime. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1

In spare poetic prose, an endearing dog of indeterminate breed declares to its young owner: "I am the keeper of the castle. This castle. And I will keep the castle safe." The "castle" is a cottage on the beach, and the tiny pup goes on to enumerate a variety of tasks, including guarding against monsters (spiders), halting an avalanche (of toys in the cupboard), diverting meteors (standing on the rooftop ready with a baseball bat), stopping "savage beasts" (pirate mice), calming the sea, etc. All of these fanciful and heroic exploits are delightfully depicted. The dog ends up by saying: "Why, you ask? Do you mean to say you don't know? Because you live here." Rendered in pencil and then digitally colored, the artwork set against soft pastel pages provides a perfect match for the whimsical text, and together they portray the love between the two friends beautifully. This book is a lovely read for a child on an adult's lap, where the pictures of the dog's expressions and antics can be fully appreciated and savored.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA

Kirkus Reviews
Just when it seems that there's nothing more to say about the enduring bond between a dog and its owner, an unassuming little pooch with brown spots steps up to the plate and adds his own first-person interpretation of that special attachment. The unnamed dog of indeterminate breed tells his story in simple, declarative sentences, announcing in no uncertain terms how he will defend his castle from intruders both big (an impending meteor) and small (invading mice). The text has a droll simplicity well suited to Lemaitre's understated pencil illustrations with pastel washes that show both domestic catastrophes and natural disasters being averted with aplomb by this tiny but immensely powerful dog. The story moves in a graceful arc, from smaller dangers to wind, lightning and the encroaching sea, all averted by the brave hero. He can deflect any sort of danger from this castle, motivated just because his owner (a little girl) lives there. Dog owners will love this, as will those who wish they had a dog just like this one. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416974819
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 6/9/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 802,919
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison McGhee is an award-winning novelist and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Someday, Little Boy, and Bye-bye, Crib. She resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Visit her at alisonmcghee.com. Pascal Lemaitre illustrated Toni and Slade Morrison’s bestselling Who’s Got Game? series and Doctor Ted and Hush, Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty. He lives in Brussels, Belgium, and Brooklyn, New York. Visit pascallemaitre.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Always by Alison McGhee

    Excellent book for children. Saw the books at a shop in Peddlers Village and then purchased three at B&N. The artwork is excellent and the script just great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    This book beautifully illustrates the many ways that a faithful

    This book beautifully illustrates the many ways that a faithful dog loves and protects his owner. It is told from the dog's perspective which makes it even more captivating! I cannot help but feel good whenever I read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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