This Kidlit Spotlight features Pova's If I Weren't With You (illustrated by Philip Martineau), released by Clear Fork Publishing on APRIL 4, 2017. (Hot off the presses, folks!) Here's my take on this new title:
If your family is anything like mine, you have WORN OUT your copies of...
Ready for a picture book reboot?
Enter If I Weren't With You - a title reminiscent of these new-ish classics, but with a deeper focus: Quelling our children's biggest worries and most persistent fears.
The story opens with a little bear named Willy playing in the woods, while his mom stands nearby. As the two bears walk among butterflies, and through hills and trees, Willy begins asking his mom some very serious questions:
What if I got lost in the woods?
What if a hunter took me?
Would you give up and forget me?
Willy's questions all have the same angle. What he seeks - what every child seeks - is certitude of his mother's devotion and protection. To Willy, safety and security can be understood, so long as he knows that his mom would do anything for him... and stop at nothing to save him.
Through vivid nature-driven examples and illustrations, Mama Bear assures Willy: Her love for him is constant and endless. This message hits extra close to home this Easter holiday, as we remember a Father's love that knows no bounds.
As a parent, I gotta tell ya...
Merely thinking of my kids being taken away from me is enough to give me a panic attack. Our children aren't immune to this. They live in the same world that we do. They see the nightly news and hear stories of loss and death.
Kids know - if only abstractly, or through the lens of cartoon characters - that there are bad forces out there, just out of view. Things that have the power to separate them from what they know and love. From us.
To provide stability in the face of Willy's uncertainty, Mama Bear offers unwavering assurances that she will never give up on her son and never forget him.
Once Willy gets his pressing questions answered, he is grounded by simply hearing the words "I love you" from Mama Bear. With that, mom and cub resume the physical and emotional closeness that gives both of them such fulfillment.
It's a pitch-perfect ending to a book that both confronts and comforts - and all on a child's level.
Congratulations on this fantastic book, Rosie!
Wishing you lots of luck in Texas (and beyond!) as you raise awareness of If I Weren't With You, now available on Amazon. ($16.99 hardcover)
For a chance to WIN a copy of If I Weren't With You:
Follow me on Twitter (@anitraschulte).
Retweet my contest tweet between 4/14 and 9AM CST 4/20.