Age Range: 2 to 4
Happy International Polar Bear Day!
‘Forever’, a lovely book about the relationship between a polar bear and its cub, has also been translated into German and French. The English version gives no hint of whether the parent is male or female but the German title is Papa hat dich lieb (Daddy loves you). I like the fact that we don’t know whether the parent is Mummy or Daddy as it opens the story up to the reader’s own interpretation.
The Story: A polar bear parent reassures its cub that it will do whatever it can to be there for him/her, will laugh with him/her, be there when s/he is scared and help him/her to achieve their dreams. The parent will love him/her forever.
‘Forever’ is a beautiful book to give to a child but would also make a lovely present for a child to give to a parent, especially for Father’s or Mothers’ Day. The relationship between the two bears is beautifully portrayed in the pictures, whether they are snuggled up together, whether the cub is asserting his independence or looking to the parent for reassurance or help.
Each page is a beautifully illustrated double spread. Every second spread has silver added, on one page as small flakes of snow, on another a large, smooth to touch, shiny, silver sea. The bear cub’s expressions realistically portray his emotions, e.g. joy, insecurity or sadness. Our favourite pages are the final two where s/he is snuggled up contentedly in a big hug. The parent is the book’s narrator and uses short, simple text which is easy to read and warmly reassuring.
The simplicity of the pictures and the text makes this a beautiful book to share with babies and very young children. ‘Forever’ isn’t a very big book, it is easy for small hands to hold and has a slightly padded, sturdy front cover.
Author / Illustrator: Emma Dodd
We also like ‘You’ which portrays the loving relationship between a monkey and his/her child. In ‘You’ the parent tells the child that s/he loves everything about him/her whether s/he’s good, sad, bad, makes a mess or is having fun. The child is reassured that every day s/he is loved more and more.