Book Review: Ida Always

Author: Caron Levis
Illustrator: Charles Santoso
Interest Level: Ages 4 and Up

From the Book Jacket: Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always. Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn't going to get better. 

The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly, Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him - through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots. 

Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends - inspired by a real bear friendship - and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This book captures the journey of loss so perfectly. Especially how much it hurts. You go through all kinds of emotions with both bears as the story leads up to Ida's passing. Love and caring for one another is emphasized as they deal with the devastating prognosis. That's how they get through it, by trying to be positive and helpful and taking advantage of every minute they have together. In the end, even though Ida is physically gone, her presence is often felt by Gus. The ending reminds us that closure is part of the journey. If you have a child who is experiencing loss or has been told a loved one is going to die - this is a solid and comforting resource to use. Reminded me that it's going to be okay......

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