Review: Forever Or A Day
What is the one thing we never seem to have enough, want more of but use the worst? Time. Of course. The supreme paradox.
Sarah Jacoby presents the infinite conflicts of time, its beauty, its mystic, its individual universal completeness with poetic tenderness and simplicity.
Forever or a Day opens not bleakly but cloaked in somber hues representing night, perhaps the beginning of time. Pinpricks of starlight dissolve into a flood of new day colour, awakening one small boy and the reader's immediate curiosity. 'If you look closely you can see it. ...almost touch it.' See what? What is there to hold? As dawn brightens into morning, the boy breakfasts, attempts to dress himself. He is joyously absorbed in his family's morning routines, blissfully unaware of what is passing him by.
But today is a special day, marked by a special occasion for the boy and his family; a train ride through the countryside, to visit his grandparents who live by the sea. Leaving his city home far behind, the boy wonders if this is what forever feels like. It's a long long train ride...
Holiday encounters are filled with bliss, building castles and friendships and memories. The boy would love to stay longer and wonders why he can't. Farewells are tinged with regret but also solid gratitude.
We've only got what we've got after all and it doesn't matter how you spend it as long as it's with people who matter to you. Time can't be exchanged or prolonged or kept forever, this the boy comes to realise after spending time with his family.
Jacoby's supremely individualistic illustrations harness a rainbow of colours, light and shade to support her reflective narrative. By the close of day, we all come to understand that one of our most precious commodities is not something we can simply buy or cheat our way out of but if we accept the incongruities of time, ultimately we can make better use of it.
Forever or a Day is a sublime book to share with your children, time and time again, the essence of which is to remind you to do so in the first place.
Title: Forever Or A Day
Author: Sarah Jacoby
Illustrator: Sarah Jacoby
Publisher: Chronicle Books , $34.99
Publication Date: March 2017
For ages: 5 – 9
Type: Picture Book
Buy the Book: Chronicle Books (US), Booktopia, Boomerang Books