Saturday 8 September 2018

The Forever Kid

The Forever Kid by Elizabeth Mary Cummings, illustrated by Cheri Hughes (Big Sky Publishing) PB RRP $14.99 HB RRP $24.99 ISBN 781925 675382

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

For someone to become ‘forever’, they must remain in people’s memories. This is the case of Johnny, the subject of this picture book for readers aged 4 to 8 years. Johnny is a member of a loving family but sadly he is deceased. When this story starts, it’s Johnny’s birthday and of course he’s no longer around to enjoy it. However, his family celebrates him by continuing his favourite party traditions.

Mum, Dad, sister Pat, little Miley and Barker the dog join with the unnamed narrator to do all those things Johnny enjoyed. This includes playing with cheesy-puffs and playing ‘cloud stories’, lying in the backyard and making up stories about clouds as they once did with Johnny.

Assembled together on this sad and special day, the family recall their times with Johnny such as watching movies, building boat models, eating Mum’s chocolate-chip cookies, computer time and cuddling (especially little Miley).

The book is dedicated by the author to ‘John-Aloysius and all Forever Kids’, so it’s obvious that writing it was a labour of love. Cummings has qualifications in psychology and is a sought-after speaker about child well-being. This book is gently told and is sure to be embraced by families who have lost a loved one.

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