Search

Always By My Side

Susan Kerner Illustrator: Ian P. Benfold Haywood

PAPERBACK AVAILABLE

If you ask me where my daddy is, this is what I ’ll say: “He’s in me and around me, never far away...”


Always By My Side is a comforting, rhyming story written to help children understand that a dad ’s love is forever. Even if they grow up without his presence in their lives.

More details

8"x 8",  
32 pages,  
ages 5-8, 

Lexile® Measure: AD 560L

$16.99

  • Hardcover

Add to wishlist

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
Language arts, social issues, death and dying, social and emotional learning, family relationships, overcoming obstacles, self-awareness and empathy, inspirational, motivational, compassion, understanding life cycles, dealing with grief

Always By My Side

"In this story about living with the loss of a father, children of various ethnicities are shown doing everyday activities while the narrator reassures them that their father is always with them even though he has passed on. He's in leaves, barking dogs, gestures, and more, watching them grow and protecting them. Some images are active (e.g., a girl frolicking down a hill of wildflowers), while others dwell on quieter moments, such as a child brushing her teeth before bed or a youngster in a loving embrace with her mother. While the narrative remains gentle throughout, the rich illustrations in lively patterns balance out the somber tone. Both the words and the images acknowledge how life goes on even in grief and that tiny and big moments alike can be full of memories and meaning."

Always By My Side

"In this story about living with the loss of a father, children of various ethnicities are shown doing everyday activities while the narrator reassures them that their father is always with them even though he has passed on. He's in leaves, barking dogs, gestures, and more, watching them grow and protecting them. Some images are active (e.g., a girl frolicking down a hill of wildflowers), while others dwell on quieter moments, such as a child brushing her teeth before bed or a youngster in a loving embrace with her mother. While the narrative remains gentle throughout, the rich illustrations in lively patterns balance out the somber tone. Both the words and the images acknowledge how life goes on even in grief and that tiny and big moments alike can be full of memories and meaning."

Always By My Side

"Kerner, in her first children's book, offers a rhyming poem to console children growing up without a father. The verse never delineates a specific explanation for the paternal absence, allowing the book to be used in situations where a father may be absent due to death, divorce, incarceration, or other circumstances. Similarly, Haywood's (Tim and the Iceberg) illustrations showcase an ethnically diverse range of children in urban and rural environments, quietly underlining the idea that there are many children living in single-parent homes. While the message is never anything less than comforting, there are some weaknesses in both text and artwork: Kerner's rhymes can be wobbly in their meter, as well as a tad syrupy ("And when I hear the birds in song,/ or barking dogs at play,/ I know that he is speaking to me/ in a very special way"), and the adults and children that populate Haywood's illustrations look static amid the vibrant and expressive settings he creates for them. Still, families coping with loss should find this a useful tool. 4–8."

Write a review

Always By My Side

Always By My Side

If you ask me where my daddy is, this is what I ’ll say: “He’s in me and around me, never far away...”


Always By My Side is a comforting, rhyming story written to help children understand that a dad ’s love is forever. Even if they grow up without his presence in their lives.