Always Mom, Forever Dad
A story of divided households
by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Penny Weber
Tilbury House Publishers, 2014
In Always Mom, Forever Dad author Joanna Rowland reassures young ones that they will be loved by both parents, when parents divorce and move apart. And, illustrating family members from different races, artist Penny Weber shows mom and dad living apart happens in many different families, suggesting that whatever the reader’s situation is, it is acceptable.
Each scene shows a child and their parent doing normal things, like baking banana bread, looking for tadpoles, or counting stars. But these times together become special to a child, when the family has changed. Told from the child’s point of view, young readers and listeners can immediately relate to the heart of each scene and feel loved.
“At my dad’s house and at my mom’s house, I am loved. And when I ask them how long they’ll love me, they both reply always and forever.”
The story helps children deal with other difficult times, too. It’s difficult for young children to accept other changes, like when a trip to the zoo is cancelled or when the child misses the other parent. Rowland shows the child is lovingly allowed to communicate with the other parent and Weber shows a photo of ‘the other parent and the child’ on the child’s nightstand. This is a happy story, rich in love, acceptance and understanding; an excellent role model for children, as well as parents.
Originally published in San Francisco Book Review.