Reviewed by Honor McConnell
In her newest book, Over and Over, M.H. Clark manages to weave together a beautiful and comforting story of a parent’s love throughout the seasons.
Written more like a poem than a traditional linear book, the story is told from the perspective of a doting father. He wistfully tells his daughter of all the wonderful things they will do each season, such as sharing golden pears in the summer or making snow angels in the winter. Most important, however, is that they do these things together. As she grows up and the seasons change “over and over” again, he stays by her side.
“And all the while, we’ll watch the clouds change, making rabbits and fish in the sky. They will never look quite this way again, and neither will you or I.”
Clark captures the long yet fleeting moments of childhood and how the love of a parent shapes these experiences. The cyclical seasons represent constant and inevitable change, yet the father’s unconditional love gives a feeling of stability, familiarity, and safety.
In addition to Clark’s writing, the folksy illustrations by Beya Rebaï enhance the landscapes as well as the relationship between the two. Her use of imprecise and blurry oil pastels looks like your own childhood memories revisited — slightly hazy and imperfect, but colorful and full of tangible joy and messiness.
For the child that might be anxious about change, growing up, and life itself, Over and Over provides the needed reminder that no matter what changes around them, their parent’s love will not budge. Some things do stay the same, even if it might not look like it.
“And while we are singing the song of our days, those days become seasons and years. And each morning, forever and always, I will love waking up with you here.
My love, like the days and the seasons, is round. My love for you has no end. My love, like the sun never fully goes down, it just comes back to kiss you again.”
For Ages: 4-8 year