Emily woke. On her night table, a letter was propped against her grandfather's picture. Her name was printed in pencil crayon the way only her grandfather did it, with each letter a different colour.
He was always so kind and funny and silly...and now he was gone.
Carefully, she picked up the envelope and opened it....
A heartfelt new picture book from bestselling children's author Eric Walters (From the Heart of Africa) and Halifax-based artist Carloe Liu. In this poignant story, we follow young Emily who has recently lost her grandfather. As she grows, she discovers a series of letters he left behind for her, offering grandfatherly advice at life's most pivotal moments: first day of high school, graduation day, wedding, and ending with the birth of her own child.
With gentle watercolours and fold-out letters for sharing with loved ones, Always With You is a timeless story about grief, growing up, and finding that those we love never truly leave us.
Eric Walters began writing for his class to entice them to become more enthusiastic readers and writers. He has now published 101 books which have been translated into 13 languages and have won over 150 awards including 12 children's choice awards, The Christopher, Africana Children's Book Award, and the UNESCO award for Literature in the Service of Tolerance. In 2014 he received the Order of Canada. He is the co-founder of a children's program in Kenya (www.creationofhope.com). For more information visit his website at www.ericwalters.net.
Carloe (Shan) Liu is an illustrator, printmaker, and art teacher. She was born in China, studied media arts in Japan, and has a masters degree in Fine Arts. In 2018 Carloe immigrated to Canada. After working as a graphic designer for years, she gave birth to her son, Lufei, and started focusing on illustration. She likes to use watercolour, oil pastel, coloured pencil, and linocut print. Carloe lives in Halifax with her family.
"The heaviness of loss is lightened by Halifax artist Carole Liu's brightly hued, cheerful water colour illustrations. The scenes are full of life and renewal, capturing fun times on a favourite amusement park ride, Grandpa's perennially blooming flower garden and completing the circle with Emily's newborn son." —Quill and Quire (Toronto, ON)
"Like Munsch's Love You Forever, Always with You is more likely to appeal to the adult readers who are sharing the book with children than it will the young listeners who have yet to experience the life events the book references. However, children will still be engaged by the opportunities to lift the "envelope" flaps that cover the letters' contents, thereby revealing what Emily's grandfather had written to her.
In an opening "A Note from the Author", Walters shares the happening which led to the creation of Always with You and concludes by saying, "I hope that as you read this book, you remember someone you love and all the ways they are still with you." I suspect that a number of parents and grandparents will be prompted to follow Emily's grandfather's example and will actually prepare their own series of letters and gifts." —Canadian Reviews of Materials (Winnipeg, MB)
"Part Jolly Postman with sturdy fold out letters and part classic Munsch Love You Forever, there is much to like in this charming and sincere book which addresses childhood grief with empathy and understanding." —Resource Links (Pouch Cove, NL)
"Eric Walters's 101st book could be described as Love You Forever meets The Jolly Postman." —QuillandQuire.com (Toronto, ON)