I Promise You by Marianne Richmond

I Promise You by Marianne Richmond. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 9781728229027, 2020 

Format: ARC (Hardcover available October, 2020)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Picture Book

 What did you like about the book? I knew I would love this book! Marianne Richmond is the author of one of my favorite books about children growing up, If I Could Keep You Little, and I knew this book would not disappoint. This is a wonderful story about the promises that parents can keep to their children, no matter what is happening in their lives. What I especially liked about this book is that it is not about promising to keep your child happy, or safe, or free from hurt feelings, because parents cannot promise that. This book shows the promises that parents can give their children and the author selects certain events in a child’s life to show those promises. For example, promising choices when children want to explore different hobbies, promising limitations when they are old enough to leave the house on their own, promising acceptance when they do something different than what the parent would do (in this case, a young boy colors his hair blue), and providing guidance when a child fails a test at school. I think it is really important that this book shows how life for children and their parents is not always smooth—confusion with social situations, a broken leg, or missing a catch in baseball, however, the parents still continue to keep their promise of supporting and guiding their child. The story ends with the child all grown up and heading off on their own—which leads me to believe this would be a great gift for a child starting a new adventure.

This would actually make a wonderful gift for a new parent. I felt it really showed what parents can, and cannot, give their children. “I can’t promise you easy or perfect or fair, but I promise you listening to the feelings you share.”

I also loved the illustrations because they capture many common events in a child’s life–getting a bad grade on a test, wobbling on a balance beam, and getting a crazy new hairstyle. I think many families will see themselves in these illustrations.

 Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children ages four through seven, especially because many new adventures happen to children at this age. I also think this book would make a wonderful gift for a young adult child who is also embarking on a new adventure away from the home—serves as a wonderful reminder that their parents will always be there for them.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children over the age of four years old. This book is perfect for a baby shower gift!

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: August 18, 2020

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