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Always and Forever Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (May 1, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0152054081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152054083
  • ASIN: B0007XWMZ6
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,292,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–Otter, Mole, Fox, and Hare share a house in the woods. When Fox dies, the other three struggle with their grief. By remembering the love, wisdom, and support he showed them and the funny things he used to do, they are able to create a memorial for him. As they sit in the garden they made in honor of him, they realize that Fox is with them "always and forever" in their memories and in their laughter. Durant's sensitive text explores a difficult topic without rushing the characters' stages of grief. Gliori's large and appealing watercolors are charming and warm. Unfortunately, Hare and Fox look too much alike, which may confuse some young readers. The tone is similar to Susan Varley's Badger'sParting Gifts (HarperCollins, 1984), but here Fox's death, being much more literal, is less abstract. This story will fill requests for books to share with children who have experienced the loss of a loved one.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 1. British storyteller Durant tells a gentle tale about animal friends who cope with the death of a loved one. Otter, Mole, Fox, and Hare live happily together in a snug tree home, but in the autumn, Fox grows ill and dies, and his friends find his body in the woods, "still and cold, covered in leaves." After burying Fox, his friends grieve through the winter, until their friend Squirrel visits in spring and encourages them to share funny, fond memories. By laughing, they find ways to move past their grief and hold Fox "in their hearts and their memories." Durant's spare sentences have an appealing, poetic rhythm that reinforces the story's tender, reassuring tone. Gliori's charming, richly colored illustrations don't shy away from the reality of death (Fox's body is shown curled up under a tree), but the detailed scenes of the affectionate friends and their cozy home and garden will comfort children. Pair this with Mindy Avra Portnoy's Where Do People Go When They Die?, reviewed on p.1847. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Alan Durant is the author of books for a wide age-range, from picture books such as Burger Boy to top-end teenage thrillers (Blood, Flesh and Bones). Having worked as a copywriter at Walker Books, he is now a full-time author.

He's married, with three children and lives just outside London. He does a lot of school visits throughout the UK and abroad and also runs writing workshops.

Customer Reviews

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Lovely story personifies animals, beautiful illustrations.
Nancy
He LOVES it, and so do I. As a humanist/atheist, I wanted to avoid any books about death that talk about heaven or god or angels or anything else make-believe.
Hones
In this cute story the forest friends decide each year on Foxes birthday they are going to have a picnic under his favorite tree eating his favorite foods.
Meg by the Lake

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By MAIOSH on May 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We checked this book out at the library. My daughters had lost a close friend and out of all the books we checked out, this one was the very best. The reason why is because this book focuses on the people left behind. It is not about where the person who died went, or questions regarding death. It is a book about the grief process of the people who are left behind that love that person. Because the characters in the book are animals...it feels less "real" and allows a child to explore their own feelings with you and relate to this story in a non-threatening way. Most books that we read seemed to either upset them or make them angry and withdraw even more but this was one of the few books that helped them to talk about how they were feeling. I highly recommend this book if you need to use a story to show that grief is normal and that eventually they will be "o.k.". We bought a copy for our family to keep because death is a part of life and I know that we will go through this again.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mikki630 on August 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a simple story using animals to tell the tale of their grief over losing a friend. This book starts with the last time they saw the friend before he died.

They discuss feeling sad when they think of missing their friend. They initially want to stay home all the time and not do anything that reminds them of their friend. They wonder how life will go on without him. They are initially sad thinking about all of the things they will miss.

Another friend gets them to see that they still have memories. Soon they are sharing memories and laughing at silly things their friend used to do. They finally get to the point in their grief that they begin to DO things again & have fun remembering their friend.

Great book for little ones. I bought it for a 4 year old who is losing his mom. I know it will still be appropriate when he is older and may need to read it again.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on December 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Lovely story personifies animals, beautiful illustrations. I've had this in my closet for several years. A parent of my 6 yr old's classmate passed away suddenly, and a counselor was scheduled to speak with the class so that they might know how to speak with their classmate, and have some understanding of the loss. I sent this book in for the teacher to share with the class while the student was away. She too felt that this was helpful. The book contains touching moments that children can relate to, yet understand that moving on and good memories can follow. Children notice so much. My daughter noticed a detail (that I had missed entirely) at the end with baby birds chirping in a tree...in the deceased fox's hat...very sweet indeed. A great addition to a library, and tool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jingletown on May 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book at the school book fair, since I liked the pictures and thought the topic would be handy, should anything unfortunate happen in our family. Later on, we had to put our 16-year-old family dog to sleep. We have two children in the house, who were 11 and 10 years old at the time. I showed them the book, and we all ended up reading it together on the couch. These are kids who were in middle school at the time, and they found a lot of comfort in this book. I couldn't read it without crying by the end, but that's ok. The kids were crying too.

It hits exactly the right note, showing the family's grief and initial feeling that it will never get any better. The author also shows how the family's sadness affects them, and that dropping out of life, so to speak, only makes it worse. When another friend comes over and they talk about the happy times, they begin to feel happy again, without feeling guilty. In the end, they each find a special way to remember Fox and keep his memory alive. It sends the perfect message to anybody who has lost a loved one.

I also recommended this book to my cousin, whose 9-year-old daughter lost a classmate, and she said that it helped them a lot, a speaked a healthy conversation about death.

Aside from the "death" topic, I would recommend that parents buy this book to have in their library, even if their child has not suffered a loss. You never know what will happen, and it is a beautiful story regardless of circumstances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christy on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazingly crafted for a few reasons 1) The characters aren't defined as mother, father, child, friend, etc. Children are able to project their situation and relationships onto the characters since such distinctions are not presented. My 4 year old son assumed that Fox (the character that died) was the father, but very easily could be brother, friend, cousin or grandfather. The pictures are wonderful and capture a sense of whimsy while helping children through a rough time. Being trained in Family Services and Pastoral Care and Counseling I was VERY impressed that this book showed healthy grieving. It doesn't stop with the death or the family crying- it continues to legacy building. This book shows that it is normal, healthy and good to enjoy life after a loved one passes, not in some way that belittles the pain of loss, but that affirms the goodness of life even with the pain of losing someone close.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meg by the Lake on January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my daughter was in 1st grade she lost her classmate and friend to a brain tumor. I searched and searched and searched for a book to help her cope with that lost. This is the ONLY book I found that explained that lost in a gentle, non denominational manner. I found this book at my library and new I had to buy it for her. I have since bought several to have on hand in order to share with others. This is such a beautiful story that explains in such a beautiful way that its ok to mourn a loved ones absence, but we can keep their spirit alive by doing something they used to love doing. In this cute story the forest friends decide each year on Foxes birthday they are going to have a picnic under his favorite tree eating his favorite foods. Highly recommend this read.
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