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4.7 out of 5 stars109
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 March 2004
¡§Otter, Mole, Fox and Hare lived together in a house in the woods.¡¨ In their family, Fox always played a wise role. As far as the others of this family were concerned, Fox was the father of the house. But one day, Fox died in the woods. His family was very sad, they felt totally lost without Fox. The worst thing was that they didn't want to do anything except think about their sorrow. But then Squirrel came to visit them and reminded them of the funny things Fox had done, and finally they all understood that Fox will always be in their hearts and memories and all of the memories will last forever.
Charming and exquisite pictures will make you feel deeply impressed with this book. Most drawings appear in double-page spreads, they are detailed and transmit the deeply emotional aura of this story. Since I have bought this book, I can hardly put it down. This is the first time¡FI feel a strong impulse to learn how to illustrate children's picture books.
Fluent text and a moving story make this book my favorite of any I have read recently. At the beginning the author uses metaphor, which is extremely appropriate to symbolize that Fox will die soon. Nevertheless, in this work the most striking sentence is the words that Squirrel said ¡§But life has to go on.¡¨ Especially the way she remembered some of the amusing things Fox had done in the past to comfort and encourage her friends. Although the theme of this story is somewhat sad, children can learn to come to terms with bereavement and face the loss of close relatives in human life. It is a good way for children to realize that no matter how sad they are, life has to go on after all.
This is a thoughtful as well as a very heartwarming story, which all children should enjoy. Well worth treasuring and reading.
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on 9 July 2006
This is an excellent book. I came across it in my school when it was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award a few years ago. The story of how the animals cope with the death of Fox is gently told and would be good for all children to read, but especially those who have lost a loved one. The illustrations are beautiful and the story's ending is uplifting, although I must confess that I cannot read it or tell anyone about it without crying (a little embarrassing infront of your pupils, but there you go). Highly recommended, but if you are soppy like me buy a pack of tissues with it.
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We stumbled across this book, don't remember where, don't recall when.
This coupled with the "Mog goes to Heaven" book make for a well rounded introduction to death of a loved one or animal.

To Be honest (re "Always & Forever") simply writing this chokes me up somewhat, it's a powerful book which has us laughing through the tears come the end of the book.

The illustrations woven & coupled with the seasons, not to mention foxy's hat & stick make for a powerful delivery & release of emotions in a positive manner.

It's ok to grieve for a loved one or pet, as I am teaching my daughter now, ..I wish i'd had access to this book as a child, my outlook may have been so different, (I bottle things / emotions up, ..not healthy).

We first purchased Mog, when our cat suddenly died at a healthy 16 to help our then 4yr old, it needed following up & thus we came across "Always & Forever"'s a hit, both as a story & a learning tool / coping mechanism to further understanding. certainly helped me as a 38 yr old too, nothing like sitting on the bed & sharing a few tears & laugter, reminiscing rather than burying emotions & thoughts.
It makes for regular reading, we have a house full of pets, we are older parents to a single child, who we wish to live in the real world, after all theres every chance she will deal her own parents deaths without the aid of many / any relatives.
So effective was this book that when we had to put our next animal down (a 12yr old boxer), our daughter felt strong enough emotionally to participate throughout at the vets as we walked our "old man" in & sat on the floor with him to "see him out" amidst cuddles.
He was a member of our family after all.
Don't leave your child to simply read this alone, share it as well as the emotions it brings within it's pages.

Top of our list of helpful books, it has helped bring out positive & mature emotions within our youngster, ..way beyond her years, (without stifling her) she's openly expressive as a result both verbally & physically, ..hugs, wanting & giving, being open with her full range of emotions, & caring for people & animals in general, she understands the "love" word as a proper emotion, not simply a much touted word.

As a burly male (writing on his wifes account), this book continues to be an important tie between our family, simply opening the pages & sharing with your child, ...caring, remembering, reflecting!
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on 13 May 2009
A beautiful story, which has given my son comfort in the fact that we never forget the ones we love, even when they die. We love them always and forever - love never ends!
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on 14 January 2009
I bought this book for my 3 children, aged 5,3 and 1 when my dad died suddenly. It explains death in a very gentle child friendly way, and encourages children to remember happy things about those that have died, not just sad things. The ilustrations are beautiful.

My children adore the book still, and if we're feeling a bit sad, or just remembering grandad we sit and read it, rarely with dry eyes! I now recommend it to al my friends who are struggling explaining death to young children.
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on 3 March 2010
This is a beautiful book dealing with the death of someone very close. The illustrations are classic Debi Gliori (gorgeous) and the text is simple and poignant. My five year old son loves it and this is a boy who is fed up of books dealing with 'feelings','loss' and 'death' after his daddy having died recently..It deals with all of that without mentioning the words themselves once... it's pure genius and a real keepsake. My extended family and I (young and old) all love it!
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on 13 June 2009
This book was for a friends daughter who was taking the death of her grandmother who had been seriously ill for some time, rather difficultly. She was having nightmares and was worrying about other, healthy, family members dying. The book is ideal for pre school children and is very sensitive. Its easy for the child to understand. Doesnt talk about religion or people becoming stars etc after they pass. It encouraged my friends daughter to remember the happy times with her grandmother and not to ponder on the fact she wouldnt see her gran again.
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on 20 March 2010
This book is a really lovely story about death and loss and also about learning to live with it and come out the other side. It is suitable for really quite young children as the story is very simple and based on animals. Its main message is about learning to remember in a happy way someone you have lost and so to keep their memory alive. The ending is one of the most beautiful endings of any book! It was bought for me and my young children when we had a very tragic loss and I have bought it for several people since. Can't recommend it enough!
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on 11 December 2013
I didn't like the words "cold and still" when they found mr. fox under the tree. I changed these words to make it more suitable for my children. Overall it is a very good book that explains death and bereavement at a level children understand. The illustrations are excellent as well.
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on 7 July 2010
i purchased this book after reading recomendations about it on here, it was bought to help my son who is 7 , to understand a bit more and help him after his nana died, we wanted him to know its ok to ask questions and ok to be sad and that things will get better. after he heard it the first time he started asking questions and relating the fox to his nana, this has helped him come to terms with things and he now calls it the fantastic fox book.

i have just purchased a further copy for my nephew who is 6 .
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