- Always by My Side by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Library ed. ISBN 9780593173831 $20.99
Trade ed. ISBN 9780593173824 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780593173848 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R 3–6 yrs
A stuffed green dinosaur toy with red polka dots and noodle-limp arms addresses the boy who carries it around everywhere and reassures him that “I will always be by your side.” The child takes the stuffie to school with him and makes friends there with a girl who carries a stuffed lion everywhere. The toy continues on adventures with the youngster (“We will create masterpieces and explore new worlds”), and when the boy is confident enough to go somewhere without his stuffed friend, the dino assures him, “I will wait for you.” Traditional pencil and watercolor art in subdued hues lends a serious tone to this book about the undying love of one’s favorite toy. The floppy, oversized dino toy provides some comedy with its droopy body but also manages to look desperately sad when waiting for the boy to come home. Viewers who hold a favorite toy in a special place in their hearts are bound to feel for the toy’s situation and hold their own plush friends tight.