Forever or a Day

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Forever or a day (cover)

Book Details

Forever or a Day
Sarah Jacoby. San Francisco: Chronicle Βοοκs, hb, 978 1 45216 463 2, 2018, £12.99, 32 pp.
Fiction, picture book, 3-7 years

We all experience time as an ever-rolling stream, the unchangeable past leading to the present and the unknowable future.

We are puzzled when physicists tell us that there is no scientific basis for understanding time in this linear fashion.

This large-format book is a philosophical exploration of the concept of time intended for young readers, from probably age seven. Jacoby points out that whatever uncertainties surround the concept of time, it remains vitally important to someone who is late for an important appointment. She also discusses the subjectivity of time. She depicts a family sitting on a jetty late at night, asking ‘Can we stay longer?’

Oddly, however, Jacoby does not discuss the all-important issue of what happens to time when you are in pain, and every second seems to last forever. She focuses on the positive aspects of time because she wants to introduce children to the concept and doesn’t wish to strike any deterrent notes. All her young readers will experience time as they become mature and then old. Jacoby is brave and praiseworthy to attempt to introduce children to a concept that is both slippery and central to our lives.

Last but not least, Jacoby’s book deserves commendation for its brilliant illustrations, vibrant and heart-warming.


Review by Rebecca Butler