In this lyrical picture book from two breakout picture book creators, a young Black child waits for—and worries about—her father while he’s away from home. A sensitive, poignant portrayal of a family’s worries, joys, and comforts, to sit alongside books by Jacqueline Woodson and Christian Robinson.

Product Code: 9266
ISBN: 9780063140783
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Greenwillow
Pages: 40
Published Date: 01/16/2024
Availability:In stock
Price: $19.99

Every night when Daddy gets home from work, Olivia gives him a big hug and knows that the evening will be full of love—and fun. Together, she, Daddy, and Momma will make a feast for dinner, clean up, dance to old-school tunes, and read stories. But every morning when Daddy goes to work, Olivia worries, worries, worries. Be safe, she and Momma tell him. But what if he isn’t? Sometimes other people aren’t, like the people Olivia sees on the news. Thud, thud, thud, goes Olivia’s heart. Thump, thump, thump, all through the long day, until she hears the jangle of Daddy’s keys announcing he’s home.

Brittany J. Thurman’s poetic text deftly explores the day-to-day life of a young Black child and her family—their joys and their fears—with a rhythm and musicality perfect for reading aloud. Shamar Knight-Justice’s expressive artwork sings with color, texture, and warmth. Forever and Always respects the deep emotions of young readers while offering comfort and reassurance to any child waiting for a loved one to come home. For readers of Nigel and the Moon, The Year We Learned to Fly, and Saturday.

For Ages 4-8

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“The family here prays and waits while trying to think well of the world, that all will be okay, when actually they have evidence that sometimes fathers leave and never return... It’s hard to express how effective Thurman’s restraint is. Feelings, worried looks, and palpable tension in the beautiful painterly illustrations are the only clues of the pain this family feels during every moment of separation until Daddy returns home, safe... So understated that it’s sure to give flight to discussions, this book offers a reality right out of the headlines, but by leaving it child-sized has a huge impact.' — School Library Journal (starred review)

“All day long, a young Black girl hopes her father will return from work.... From cover to cover, this book feels like a love song, with sheet music woven throughout the background. The digitally created art has a collagelike feel; deft use of shadow and texture makes the images appear almost three-dimensional in places. Tender and intimate, this is a book that will soothe children enduring the same worries as Olivia.... A balm for little ones grappling with harsh realities.” — Kirkus Review (starred review)

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