Always

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Overview

Children everywhere will be comforted by this universal tale, in which a young boy is assured that his mother loves him — no matter what he does.

"Do you love me when I finger-paint with toothpaste on the bathroom mirror?"

As he goes through a day, a child asks his mother for reassurance with a series of questions. Does she love him when he's gentle? Does she love him when he's not? Does she love him when he jumps in puddles wearing his new sneakers? Simple, charming, and ...

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Overview

Children everywhere will be comforted by this universal tale, in which a young boy is assured that his mother loves him — no matter what he does.

"Do you love me when I finger-paint with toothpaste on the bathroom mirror?"

As he goes through a day, a child asks his mother for reassurance with a series of questions. Does she love him when he's gentle? Does she love him when he's not? Does she love him when he jumps in puddles wearing his new sneakers? Simple, charming, and disarming, Ann Stott's story will resonate with little listeners and adults alike. Matt Phelan's funny, poignant drawings capture the child's behavior, both good and bad, and the mother's unconditional love.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
Most children know that when they do what is expected of them they are loved. But what about the times they are less than perfect? An engaging little boy wonders if his mother loves him when he is less than gentle with the dog, jumps in puddles in his new sneakers, when he doesn't eat all his peas, finger paints with toothpaste and spends time in his time-out chair. The resounding affirmative from his loving mother reassures him that he is loved no matter what he does. Simplistic in scope but universal in appeal, the red-haired boy is so full of innocent charm and spirited naughtiness that it is easy to forgive his transgressions. Soft watercolors capture all of his youthful exuberance and youngsters will readily identify with him. Along the lines of Barbara Joose's Mama Do You Love Me? (1991) the emphasis here is on a mother's unconditional love and will be more apt to be picked up by parents to share with their children. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal

PreS

A sweet, understated story. In minimal yet well-structured text, a child asks, "Do you love me?" Even, he wonders, if he's not gentle? What about, he asks, if "I jump in puddles wearing my new sneakers?" The protagonist, a boy with a thatch of red hair, pinhole eyes, and an earnest yet worried expression, perfectly captures the universality of this question. Phelan's illustrations bring this quiet text to exuberant life with pastel watercolors as the child and his dog leap, jump, and make mischief throughout the white space on which they exist. The perfectly timed text, with questions one after the other, listing all the possibilities this boy can imagine, ends of course with the perfect answer. "No matter what you do...I'll always love you." There are other books with this theme, including Jeanne Willis's Mommy Do You Love Me? (Candlewick, 2008) and Debi Gliori's No Matter What (Harcourt, 1999). Both of these titles feature animal characters and have more text. Use this wonderful book in toddler storytimes, but make sure you get extra copies-there will be a big demand.-Jane Marino, Bronxville Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Stott's simply executed tale explores the expansiveness of a mother's love. A young child queries his mother on the parameters of her affection through a series of seemingly guileless questions. Stott wryly captures the gamut of childhood peccadilloes as, with charming timidity, the child quizzes his mother to establish if her love encompasses whether he eats his peas (or not), uses the potty (or not), etc. Child readers will recognize their own behaviors and anxieties, and will be reassured by the mother's steadfast testimony of unconditional affection. Phelan's watercolors adeptly convey the gleeful mischief that is part and parcel of childhood. His deft sketches are an amusing extension of the tale and well worth second and third glances-as the child wonders whether his mother will love him if he doesn't eat his peas, readers see just his scowling eyes at table-level, little green vegetables strewn all over, including his hair. The artwork and the cozy message combine to create a vastly reassuring if not particularly original tale for little ones. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763632328
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 554,055
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.98 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Stott is a children's book designer. She says that this book, her first, was inspired by questions her own son has asked her. She lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Matt Phelan has worked in the film industry and illustrated a number of books for children, including the Newbery Medal winner THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, THE SEVEN WONDERS OF SASSAFRAS SPRINGS, and THE NEW GIRL . . . AND ME. He lives in Philadelphia.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Remarkably thought-provoking and brilliantly illustrated!

    Stott's delightfully enchanting story of reassurance, coupled with Phelan's warm and spot on illustrations, make for a wonderful lesson to us all. Children will cherish the message of this story whilst parents will be reminded of the true meaning of "Unconditional Love".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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