I’ll Always Hold Your Hand

Clavis. Apr. 2021. 20p. Board $12.95. ISBN 9781605376219.
PreS-K–As with Robert Munsch’s classic Love You Forever, this book’s message is perfectly summed up by its title. Plotless, the text consists of sincere, loving phrases from an invisible caretaker to a baby animal. The narrator—presumably the parent—promises to hold the baby’s hand, play peek-a-boo, and change their diaper. The animals have a pastel watercolor look. Thin black lines are used only to create mouths and closed eyes. Because the characters are not outlined, they look soft and cuddly. Like a human baby, they have giant heads and big eyes. In fact, the baby animals are treated as baby humans. They wear diapers and play with toys, and they are adorable, e.g., the baby cow has a stuffed cow toy tucked into bed with her. A baby human with white skin and a blue hair bow is depicted on the final page. On that page, the text sums up the book’s loving ideas and concludes with a last line echoing the title.
VERDICT This gentle and heartwarming title is a sweet, if unremarkable, addition to any board book collection.

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