Always and Forever

Always and Forever

5.0 2
by Alan Durant, Debi Gliori
     
 

When Fox dies, Mole, Hare, and Otter are devastated. They feel they will never get over their great sadness. How can life go on without him? Then one day Squirrel comes to visit. She reminds Fox's family of all the funny things he used to do. And as the friends share dinner and tell stories, they realize at last that in their hearts and memories, Fox is

Overview

When Fox dies, Mole, Hare, and Otter are devastated. They feel they will never get over their great sadness. How can life go on without him? Then one day Squirrel comes to visit. She reminds Fox's family of all the funny things he used to do. And as the friends share dinner and tell stories, they realize at last that in their hearts and memories, Fox is still with them, and he will be—always and forever.

With thoughtful, delicate illustrations by acclaimed artist Debi Gliori, this gentle story is just right for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fox falls ill and dies, and his housemates Otter, Mole and Hare feel as if life can't go on without him. Talking about Fox's wisdom and kindness "made their hearts ache," writes Durant (Dear Tooth Fairy). "They fell into silence. And so it continued, sun and moon, moon and sun. There was only deep sadness in the house in the woods." Gliori (No Matter What) doesn't flinch from showing readers the most sorrowful parts of the story: the discovery of Fox's body, "still and cold" in the forest, his burial and the despair that envelops everyone that winter. But Gliori does not portray these scenes as scary or maudlin, because her candor grows out of the sense of empathy that has always been her hallmark. The story's shadow lifts when Squirrel visits in springtime, determined to shake the trio out of their isolation. "You know there's one thing I don't miss about Fox, and that's his cooking," she says, in an ingenious attempt at grief therapy. "Do you remember that awful pie he made?" That remark prompts Otter, Hare and Mole to recall with affection Fox's other foibles as a cook, a handyman and a gardener. With the departed friend restored to their hearts and thoughts as a real, rather than idealized, figure, they can finally come to terms with his loss. Gliori and Durant leave readers with the comforting image of the housemates gathered in a garden created in Fox's memory, savoring a beautiful summer day and the enduring bonds of friendship. Ages 3-7. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The happy family of Otter, Mole, Hare, and Fox is desolated when hard-working Fox becomes ill and dies. "Wintry sadness" settles over and prevails in their home, until Squirrel comes to visit one day. As they remember Fox together, they recall the funny things he did and begin to laugh again. They plan a special garden and activities to preserve their good memories. So in their hearts Fox remains. Although the story is about animals on the surface, it is of course really about helping children deal with grief. The front end-papers show the quartet's close relationship, while the back end-papers show only the remaining trio sitting on a hill, contentedly gazing into the open future. Watercolor scenes combine some fanciful details of the living style of the anthropomorphic characters in the changing seasons. Double-page scenes plus smaller pictures create a complete visual narrative supplying much of the emotional content of the initial grief and then the happier memories. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Otter, Mole, Fox, and Hare share a house in the woods. When Fox dies, the other three struggle with their grief. By remembering the love, wisdom, and support he showed them and the funny things he used to do, they are able to create a memorial for him. As they sit in the garden they made in honor of him, they realize that Fox is with them "always and forever" in their memories and in their laughter. Durant's sensitive text explores a difficult topic without rushing the characters' stages of grief. Gliori's large and appealing watercolors are charming and warm. Unfortunately, Hare and Fox look too much alike, which may confuse some young readers. The tone is similar to Susan Varley's Badger's Parting Gifts (HarperCollins, 1984), but here Fox's death, being much more literal, is less abstract. This story will fill requests for books to share with children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.-Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152166366
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.88(w) x 9.88(h) x (d)
Lexile:
AD650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 Years

Meet the Author

ALAN DURANT is a highly regarded author of books for children of all ages. He lives in London.

DEBI GLIORI has illustrated many beloved picture books, including Joyce Dunbar's Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep and Tell Me What It's Like to Be Big, along with her own Penguin Post and No Matter What. She lives near Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Always and Forever 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After experiencing the loss of our 14 month old granddaughter this book was a great way to talk about death to her 3 year old sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I keep a copy of this book on hand in times when friends and family need it. It is a great way to talk to kids about a very sensitive issue.