Book of My Choosing - 2018 · Book Review · Children · Illustrated/Picture Books

Book Review: Always and Forever by Alan Durant; Illustrated by Debi Gliori


Pages: 32
Genre: Children/Grief
Publication Date:
 May 1, 2004
Themes: Friendship, Loss, Grief, Death, Healing


Fox doesn’t feel well and before long, he passes away. His friends, Mole, Hare, and Otter are filled with sadness, loss, and grief at losing their best friend.

As time passes, though, the friends slowly begin to heal with the help of Squirrel and begin to remember the happier times they had with their kind friend.

my review

Wow…what a powerful story. I actually lost my oldest sister a little over five years ago, so reading this with my other sisters brought out some sad feelings. Losing a sibling, a friend, is something that goes so deeply and affects you so much. There are moments that are still hard for me and so reading this book resurfaced the toughest time when Inez was slipping away from us and then finally left.

With that being said, I thought this story was presented beautifully and honestly. Yes, the animal friends were sad, but Squirrel helped them to remember the good times, so there’s a balance of both feelings. I found the transition from one to the other smooth and logical.

I loved the illustrations here and especially the split pages. On one side of these pages followed the present storyline where the fur friends were talking, while the other side of the pages were of Fox, when he was alive and acting out each story. This part of the story helped smooth out the feeling transitioning as I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Overall, I loved how real the emotions felt in the story, but without it being overwhelming. The healing process and the sweet ending made this to an even better read that I truly enjoyed.

My Rating5 stars


I would highly recommend this children’s read to children who have or even have not experienced the feelings of loss and grief. It would be a great introduction and would open conversation on this otherwise sensitive subject.

Was this a book of my choosing or one for review?
63 out of 50 books of my choosing for 2018!

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