Always By My Side

Always By My Side

4.5 2
by Susan Kerner, Ian Benfold Haywood
     
 

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"If you ask me where my daddy is, this is what I'll say: "He's in me and around me, never far away..."
Always By My Side is a comforting, rhyming story written to help children understand that a dad's love is always with them. Even if they grow up without his presence in their lives.
This gentle, beautifully illustrated book conveys the heart-warming

Overview

"If you ask me where my daddy is, this is what I'll say: "He's in me and around me, never far away..."
Always By My Side is a comforting, rhyming story written to help children understand that a dad's love is always with them. Even if they grow up without his presence in their lives.
This gentle, beautifully illustrated book conveys the heart-warming message to children that even though a father is not in their lives, he is still part of them. They will realize that they are like him in character, looks and actions; that his spirit surrounds them in everything in their day-to-day activities, and helps to make them who they are.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
01/01/2014
K-Gr 2—In this story about living with the loss of a father, children of various ethnicities are shown doing everyday activities while the narrator reassures them that their father is always with them even though he has passed on. He's in leaves, barking dogs, gestures, and more, watching them grow and protecting them. Some images are active (e.g., a girl frolicking down a hill of wildflowers), while others dwell on quieter moments, such as a child brushing her teeth before bed or a youngster in a loving embrace with her mother. While the narrative remains gentle throughout, the rich illustrations in lively patterns balance out the somber tone. Both the words and the images acknowledge how life goes on even in grief and that tiny and big moments alike can be full of memories and meaning.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
Kerner, in her first children's book, offers a rhyming poem to console children growing up without a father. The verse never delineates a specific explanation for the paternal absence, allowing the book to be used in situations where a father may be absent due to death, divorce, incarceration, or other circumstances. Similarly, Haywood's (Tim and the Iceberg) illustrations showcase an ethnically diverse range of children in urban and rural environments, quietly underlining the idea that there are many children living in single-parent homes. While the message is never anything less than comforting, there are some weaknesses in both text and artwork: Kerner's rhymes can be wobbly in their meter, as well as a tad syrupy ("And when I hear the birds in song,/ or barking dogs at play,/ I know that he is speaking to me/ in a very special way"), and the adults and children that populate Haywood's illustrations look static amid the vibrant and expressive settings he creates for them. Still, families coping with loss should find this a useful tool. 4–8. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595723376
Publisher:
Star Bright Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/17/2013
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Lexile:
AD680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Always by My Side 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
CanadaInker4 More than 1 year ago
This book has a gentle and loving spirit oozing out of every page.  Written in rhyme, it is composed for children to help them comprehend the forever love of a father, even if he is absent from that child's life. The heart -warming illustrations invite you in to share the intimacy of an absentee father's heart, still connected to his kids.  The children encounter their dad in all the beautiful aspects of nature around them.  Their dad is present in the shimmering leaves, the lapping waves of the ocean, the warm sunshine rays, the birds happily singing and doggies barking at play as they are out for a well-deserved walk.  He whispers words of encouragement and sympathy into their hearts when they are sad or injured.  The illustrations portray children of every culture experiencing the omnipresence of their dad. One must acknowledge that it is the mom who keeps the spirit of her husband, and her children's father alive in their life.  She points out that the children have their father's eyes and many traits that come straight from him.  She passes on the shared family love through the days, months and years, never letting their children forget how much their father loved them.  The last page says, "So as you brighten the world with your sparkling life, with an all-knowing smile you'll say, 'My daddy is in me and everywhere...he's just here in a different way.'  I particularly love the last page showing a little boy, asleep, hugging his teddy bear, and beside his bed is a photo of his beloved dad keeping him company through the night. This is a perfect book to read to your child if his father has passed on, is on military deployment, is working through a parental divorce or if his dad travels a lot.  It reminds kids that they are forever connected through their thoughts and imagination to their dad.   This would be an excellent addition in a school library or for a child therapist.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It has a great message that is extremely relevant in today's society. Some of the formatting was off and some of the pictures broke across pages, but once these issues are fixed, I think that it will have high sales.