I Love You Always and Forever

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
I Love You Always and Forever Book Poster Image
Heartwarming, huggy mouse tale for tots.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a tale of tenderness that goes great with hugs.

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What's the story?

Longtail and his daughter, Littletail, spend a day playing tag and hide-and-seek in the woods. Longtail is faster and more clever, so of course he is able to tag his daughter during chase and find her when she hides. However, because he is larger, Longtail does not do so well when they play follow-the-leader. In each situation, the two playfully remind each other that what always happens now will not happen forever. That is, except when Longtail says he loves Littletail, and that "will be forever."

Is it any good?

Both words and watercolors express such tenderness in this story of a father mouse and his young daughter enjoying a day in the forest together. As Longtail swings Littletail playfully through the air, chases her through the clover, or follows her through a maze of tree trunks, the reader can hear her giggles blend into the soft background hum of the bees, beetles, and other insects. The watercolor illustrations by Daniel Howarth build on the tone of the text.

Johnathan Emmett skillfully and poetically develops the world of loving play from a child's perspective. Kids will understand Littletail when she realizes she can't run as fast as her father; they know how she feels when she can't hide well enough that he can't find her. However, they also will understand why she feels so proud when she can crawl into some small spaces her father can't fit. And, kids will definitely understand when Longtail says he will love her "always and forever."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about games they like to play together. What makes playing fun? Who usually wins? How did Littletail feel when her dad tagged her when they were playing chase, or when he found her during hide-and-seek? Would you feel the same way?

  • What made Littletail proud when she was playing follow-the-leader with her dad? What things do you always do, but won't do forever?

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