Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Always and Everywhere by Laura Bowman

Always and Everywhere by Laura Bowman
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8 approx
Published By: (independent)
Publication Date: October 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0615230672

When I discovered this book online a few weeks back, I made a post here to help spread the word about it. Written for her dear friend Margie and her family, Laura created the book as a way to both commemorize her dear friend's life and impact on her children, and to give encouragement to them all. You see, Margie is fighting a heartbreaking battle against breast cancer. And while she has no intentions of giving up the fight any time soon, when the time does come for her to move on from this world she wants her children to remember that even though she won't be physically with them she'll always be here in spirit. Isn't that a beautiful way to look at it? I personally hadn't read it, but the book's content and the story behind it was so moving that I felt it sounded like one truly worth promoting. It was then that Susan, the kind and generous director at Always and Everywhere, having seen my blog post, contacted me regarding receiving a copy of my very own. So, it is with much thanks to Susan, Laura, and Margie that I am now able to post my very own review.

Set in a normal every day world where kids will be kids and questions will be asked, Laura tackles one of the toughest subjects. What happens when you lose someone you love? Done in a beautiful and very simplified manner, Laura never actually uses the words death or loss. Rather, she skips gently to the topic of angels. Those slightly older readers will probably grasp the concept without help, but the younger ones in the group will still learn great lessons from the book even if they don't necessarily make all the connections.

The point of the story is that everyday- always and everywhere- those we love are with us. If not in body they are with us in spirit, and they'll always be with us through the lessons they've taught us and morals they've instilled in us.

Always and Everywhere was everything I'd expected and more. The children John, Mark, and Claire go about their daily routines, and at set intervals stop to inquire about something unseen but felt, unheard but noticed, forgotten yet not gone completely. They learn to slow down and live in the moment, to enjoy the simple joys life has to offer, to hold tight to their dreams and never let go, and they learn that they are never truly alone. In short, there's always more going on than meets the eye; so never take any of it for granted.

I absolutely loved this book. The way the author chose to put forth her friend's story on paper and canvas (She also painted the illustrations.) was both moving and beautiful. No matter what point your child is at in life's circle, I think this is a wonderful book filled with great reminders that even we parents can benefit from.

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

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