Together Always, written by Edwina Wyatt and illustrated by Lucia Masciullo, is a sweet, profound and mesmerising book of everlasting friendship and overcoming differences in opinion without comprising values.
Pig and Goat ‘always‘ do everything together, no matter what fruit hangs from the trees in the orchard. They laze about in the sun and the stream, tell tales and hum tunes when the other is down. One BIG night Goat decides he feels the need to take Pig and go exploring over the hills. But when Pig misses his home, they forfeit their ‘sticking together always‘ pact and part ways. To soothe themselves to sleep or to comfort themselves when they feel lonely, Pig and Goat find ways to remember each other. They know that although they are physically apart, they are, in fact, ‘always‘ in each other’s hearts.
Gorgeously textured pencil and watercolours in splats and strokes magnificently outline the characters, showing both the elements of togetherness and individuality. This is further carried through when the mix of cool and warm tones are subtly separated when the friends are apart from one another.
Together Always is a deep and meaningful story with plenty of playful moments. It would perfectly suit pre-schoolers and beyond who might be grappling with complex friendships or missing a mate who has moved out of their immediate everyday world.
Little Hare Books, Hardie Grant Egmont, March 2016.
Read the full post here: It is so important, particularly today, that our future generations are brought up as genuinely kind and caring people with peace and prosperity in heart and mind. It is our duty to continue to empower and raise our children as strong, tolerant and protective members of our society and environment. I love these following picture books for their beautiful messages of compassion, fervour, accepting differences, and making differences.
Thanks to Romi Sharp for this lovely review!
This picture book is a thoughtful tale of the friendship between Pig and Goat who vow to stick together always. But after a while, an irreconcilable difference separates them. Goat longs to explore the wind and the rocks of the forest beyond the gate of the orchard, but Pig misses the trees and the stream of the orchard. So, with heads bent and forlorn facial expressions, Pig and Goat say their goodbyes and part ways. But while apart they continue to draw comfort from the love and support that they have previously experienced in their friendship.
Children will relate to the theme of friendship, loyalty and mutual support. Adults will appreciate the more complex themes of difficulties in reconciling the tension between pursuing individual wishes against commitment to a relationship.
Edwina’s text has a lovely rhythm with repetition of key phrases. With paucity of words a friendship of mutual support and interdependence is vividly described. The text evokes a slightly sad and lonely but whimsical mood.
Lucia’s soft water colour illustrations support and advance the mood and content of the text well. Goat and Pig’s amicable interactions and interconnectedness are fore and centre in illustrations that focus on the two characters only. Then when they are apart their aloneness is emphasised as they are shown alone amidst a large landscape. The calm, idyllic scene of the orchard is in contrast to the tall tree trunks and huge rocks of the wild mountains scenes. In the beginning Goat and Pig are together as they snuggle up or interact amicably, and in the end they are together as they bid each other goodnight from a wide distance.
Together Always is a quality picture book which weaves a simple but pertinent story with an economy of well chosen words and illustrations that enhance the story.
Reviewed by Barbara Swartz
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Edwina Wyatt is fast becoming a favourite in our house thanks to her heart warming stories paired with stunning illustrations. In this tale, two good friends find that their promise to be ‘together always’ might not work out as they planned.
Friendship is so important to children – bonds are made quickly, and strongly, without much concern for the realities of longevity. In Together Always we meet two young friends who make a pact to be together always. And that’s great as long as they are wanting to do the same things, in the same places, all the time.
Last year I fell in love with another of Edwina’s books, In the Evening, and I knew I just had to keep an eye out for whatever she offered up next. I’ve not been disappointed. Together Always reads like poetry – an ode to friendship with all its joys and sorrows. The story is about Goat and Pig who are the best of friends until one day they want to go different ways. Goat wants adventure, but Pig loves the comforts of home. Yet the two find ways to be together even when they are apart.
This is a story about how good friendship goes beyond being together all the time – it can be just as strong in absence as together, and it defies differences. Such a perfect read for those times when kids struggle with their friendships, or when friends move away. Lucia Masciullo’s illustrations of pastel watercolours and pencil on a soft cream background match beautifully the wistful yet whimsical nature of the story.
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This is an endearing book about friendship, change and compromise, and about allowing those we love to follow their dreams. The story also demonstrates that when you’re unable to physically be with your loved ones, they can still be in your heart.Wyatt uses repetition and rhythm to great effect in this heartwarming tale. Together Always would make a wonderful read for someone about to enter a period of change.
Wyatt uses repetition and rhythm to great effect in this heartwarming tale. Together Always would make a wonderful read for someone about to enter a period of change.
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