Silver Dolphin Books
December 03, 2019
9.7 X 11.2 X 0.4 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author
Stephanie Stansbie has been a children's books editor since the '90s and an author since the noughties. She adores editing and writing in equal measure and has always worked on illustrated books, where the art is as important as the word. The books she has authored have been translated into 14 different languages. Stephanie lives in Oxford and enjoys mucking about with her family and practicing capoeira.
Richard Smythe graduated from an Illustration masters degree in 2010. Since then he worked for a variety of clients internationally, though ultimately he loves working on picture book texts. No matter how simple the narrative, you can always read between the lines - the only limit is your imagination!
A caregiving bear shares with its cub how love has defined their relationship from the first moment and through the years as the cub has grown. With rhymes and a steady rhythm that are less singsong-y than similar books, Stansbie seems to have hit a sweet spot for this offering on the I-love-you-always shelf. Readers follow the adult and child as they share special moments together--a sunset, a splash in a pond, climbing a tree, a snuggle--and the adult tells the child that the love it feels has only grown. Stansbie also takes care not to put promises in the adult bear's mouth that can't be delivered, acknowledging that physical proximity is not always possible: "Wherever you are, / even when we're apart... // I'll love you forever / with all of my heart." The large trim size helps the sweet illustrations shine; their emphasis is on the close relationship between parent and child. Shaped peekaboo windows offer glimpses of preceding and succeeding pages, images and text carefully placed to work whatever the context. While the die cuts on the interior pages will not hold up to rough handling, they do add whimsy and delight to the book as a whole: "And now that you're bigger, / you make my heart sing. / My / beautiful / wonderful / magical / thing." Those last three adjectives are positioned in leaf-shaped cutouts, the turn of the page revealing the roly-poly cub in a pile of leaves, three formed by the die-cuts. Opposite, three vignettes show the cub appreciating the "beautiful," the "wonderful," and the "magical." Sweet. (Picture book. 3-5)-- "Kirkus Reviews"