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Always and Forever

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  73 reviews
When Fox dies, Mole, Hare, and Otter are devastated. They feel they will never get over their great sadness. How can life go on without him? Then one day Squirrel comes to visit. She reminds Fox's family of all the funny things he used to do. And as the friends share dinner and tell stories, they realize at last that in their hearts and memories, Fox is still with them, an ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published September 4th 2003)
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Average rating 4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  261 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grieving children and adults who are trying to help them
Yet another AMAZING and WONDERFUL grief book for children.

Otter, Mole, Fox and Hare are all good friends who live in the woods together. Everyone works hard and has their strengths and helps each other.

They were a happy family, and they loved each other dearly.


But one day, Fox fell ill. As the leaves started to drop from the trees, Fox grew thin, pale, and sad.

One morning, he went out alone into the woods and didn't come back.

Wow. We see Fox's prone body in the autumn woods.

His family found
Stephanie Calhoun
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I was recommended this book after our school experienced the loss of a student. This was an appropriate book for my kindergarten students and approached the topic of grief appropriately.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pgce
This is a heart warming story about a group of friends made up of a Fox, Mole, Hare and Otter. The group are left devastated when they discover that their dear friend Fox has passed away.

The animals feel as though there lives cannot go on and they don't know how to cope without Fox. One day, their friend Squirrel comes to visit and he reminds the animals of all the times that they had spent with Fox and the memories they had shared, the animals began to see that life could go on,and in order fo
Catherine Smith
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of an RE lesson and thought it was excellent and really thought provoking.

I found that it would be really useful for a PSHE lesson or circle time when dealing with death. The theme of death is a difficult one to deal with when working with children, but it occasionally (unfortunately..) might be necessary, so I think that this book should be on hand if it is required.

The story is about a friendship group, a fox, an otter and a hare. The fox passes away and the novel fol
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a sad story book that is aimed to describe to children feelings and what happens when loved one's die. It is an animated book of an Otter, Mole, fox and Hare who live together and fox is the main hard working member of their family and deals with everything. So when fox gets ill it describes now he becomes weak pale and thin. Fox goes out one day to not return, his friends go in search for him. Thats when they discover he has died and they bury him under foxes faviourite tree. It tells h ...more
Kyran Delaney
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written book and highly recommended for children dealing with loss and bereavement. The theme of the book settles on the assumption that Fox was the father figure of the house which deals directly with losing a parent or grand-parent. The use of metaphor at the start is cleverly used as it suggests that Fox is going to die. The sense of loss and bereavement felt by otter, mole and hare is something the children can relate to in real life. It's a good way for children to realise that ...more
Lucy Townsend
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In this story the reader is introduced to four best friends and they all live together and look after one another, but one day their dear friend fox dies and the other animals become extremely sad and do not feel like going out or eating. However, squirrel comes to visit the animals and reminds them of all of the good times that they had with fox and what a good friend he was to them all. They decide to make fox's favourtie tree where he is buried the special place where they would go to remembe ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I highly recommend this book. It has big, beautiful bright illustrations and a sweet message. Great for anyone who has experienced a loss of a loved one.
☔️Alaska Hall
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Every so often I get a compelling urge to re read this storybook, and every single time, I cry. For as long as I can remember this book has owned a special seat in my soul and sometimes I just need to feel how this book makes me feel again. The story is about grief as Otter, Mole and Hare mourn their friend Fox, who they loved very dearly. I actually got this when my dad died and somehow, through basic writing and animals as characters, it perfectly illustrates what loss feels like. The descript ...more
Jenn Nodine
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I will not be adding a synopsis of the book to my review as that has already been done by others here very well. I found this book during a book fair at my two daughters' elementary school. They were about 5 & 7 years old at the time, and they had not yet experienced the death of a loved one/family member. I skimmed it at the fair and was impressed with the author's way of handling the subject matter with such honesty and tenderness, so I decided to put it in our bedtime story rotation (even tho ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Wow…what a powerful story. I actually lost my oldest sister a little over five years ago, so reading this with my other sisters brought out some sad feelings. Losing a sibling, a friend, is something that goes so deeply and affects you so much. There are moments that are still hard for me and so reading this book resurfaced the toughest time when Inez was slipping away from us and then finally left.

With that being said, I thought this story was presented beautifully and honestly. Yes, the animal
Rhian Niblett
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book during one of the RE session's at UEL and I felt it was a particularly good book to use in class when dealing with the topic of death.

It would be particularly useful if a child has recently experienced a death in their life, a topic which can be very difficult to approach sensitively with the whole class. It could be used as a circle time actiity in order to create a safe and secure enironment in which to discuss the topic.

The story is about a group of animal friends; a fox, an
Sarah Comaskey
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book gives an insight into the ways we can help a child deal with bereavement as well as understand it and to come to terms with the loss of somebody close. The book is full of colourful and beautiful illustrations. The story is about a family- an otter, a mole, a fox and a hare who all live together as a family in the forest. As we read of the loss of one of the members of this family we see how the other members are left devastated and heartbroken with the loss of their father figure. The ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Young children who have lost a loved one or a pet, or are asking questions about death
Shelves: picture-books
I plucked this off the shelf because of the appealing picture on the front. Ellen loves foxes, and it shows a fox and some other animals hugging each other. Only after beginning to read it, did I realize it is about death. And I would recommend it to read to children who have lost a loved one or to children who are beginning to ask questions about death. I would also recommend that the parent read it first to see if it is compatible with their philosophy. The story is sweet, and the illustration ...more
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Always and Forever by Alan Durant is a heart-warming story that tackles the sensitive issue of discussing death with young children. The story is about four friends, a mole, fox, hare and otter who live together in a house in the woods. Sadly fox starts getting ill and eventually passes away, the friends have to learn how to live without fox. I feel this book discusses the topic of death very sensitively, it is beautifully written in a way that is sensitive to children’s young minds. I feel it i ...more
Yvonne Geraghty
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book gives a heart-warming account of how we deal with bereavement and come to terms with the loss of somebody close to us. Told through beautiful illustrations, this story gives an account of a family; the otter, the mole the fox and the hare who all share a home and live together as a family in the woods. When the loss of a family member occurs the rest are left deeply saddened and heartbroken with the loss of the father figure of the house. The beautiful illustrations are poignant and de ...more
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is about three animal friends that live together Fox, Mole and Rabbit. One day Fox gets sick and goes off into the forest and doesn't return. Mole and Rabbit find Fox's body and bury him.

Mole and Rabbit are very sad and do not know how they will cope without Fox and they do not go outside as they are too sad. Then one day Squirrel pays them a visit to find out what has happened. Squirrel reminds them both of all the good times and laughter they had with Fox and that it is important to
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Always and forever is a book with Sadness and Bereavement as the main themes.The book is about a family of animals that lose a family member and start grieving for him. They think that everything is terrible and cant move on from the loss. It was only when a friend comes and reminds them that they must not live in the mind set that he is gone but must think about when he was with them. There is an importance on remembering people and the way in which memories cannot be taken away from us when fa ...more
Christina Reid
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Make sure that you have a tissue handy before reading this!
The story follows a family of animals who live together in the woods, each doing their part to keep their lives ticking along. Until Fox begins to get sick and, one day, he walks off into the woods and doesn't come back. His friends and family find his body and bury him, before entering a period of grieving during which it feels as if they will never be able to laugh or smile again.
When their friend, Squirrel, comes to visit, he reminds
Mandy Scheuren
Otter, Mole, Fox, and Hare live happily together in a snug tree home. Unfortunately Fox gets sick and dies. Fox’s friends find his body in the woods, "still and cold, covered in leaves." After burying Fox, his friends grieve through the winter. Their friend Squirrel visits in spring and encourages them to share funny memories. By laughing, they find ways to move past their grief and keep Fox in their hearts and their memories. Durant's spare sentences have an appealing, poetic rhythm that reinfo ...more
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
This book was incredibly touching and real. After losing my mom recently, I checked out many books on loss to help my daughter who was having a hard time with it. This was by far the best book. I was in tears myself and had a very difficult time reading it.

It was a touching story of three friends that were a family and about the loss they suffered and how devastated they were and how they finally came about to dealing with the loss.

To just read the story would be fine though it is very, very s
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book to introduce children to coping with loss and also could be a good introduction to the subject of death.There are large pictures which would make it very easy to tell a class and show them the pictures. There are four main characters an otter, a mole, a fox and a hare.They are great friends but unfortunately one day the fox dies. They are all very sad until the squirrel, a friend, comes along and reminds everyone of all the fun times they had with the fox. they all share ...more
May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A moving book about a fox who dies. His friends were as good as his family and were very sad about him passing on that they couldn't go on and just stayed at home. One day a rabbit comes along and says to the friends that he has not seen them in a long time. They said they couldn't go out and have fun without fox, so the rabbit decides to help them and explains to them that life has to go on. All of the friends started remembering the good times and memories they had with fox. They made a memori ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My son picked this book out at our public library and I had no idea it was about animals grieving the loss of their friend Fox, but to my surprise, it was a very touching and thoughtful book on loss that I would recommend to anyone who has lost someone close to them. The illustrations are excellent and it is put together so well. My 4 year old was a bit confused on the illustrations where the animals are remembering Fox and he's shown doing things. He thought that Fox had come back to life, but ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a fantastic, touching book about dealing with the death of a loved one. It follows a family of animals who lose the head of their family, the fox. It follows them going through morning, and then learning to remember the things about the fox that makes them happy.

I think this is a perfect book for introducing young children to the concept of death. It explains the concept very nicely, walks the children through the feeling of mourning and then explains how to remember the happy times
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a truly heart wrenching book of grieving the loss of a dear friend. I wasn't expecting a story of this nature when I opened the cover, but lo and behold that's what I got. It was well written, beautifully illustrated and very personal. It brought to mind deaths that I've experienced in my own life. It was difficult to take, but handled the situation with such delicate honesty that it made the experience joyful and celebratory rather than depressing. ...more
Leke Akinyemi
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that I had come across that deals with bereavement. This helped me realise that death and losing a loved one might need some explanation within a class setting.

This ironically helped through a recent stage when I and others were bereaved. It's all a part of life. A part that is often left unspoken but I would recommend the read.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
When 3 friends lose their very special friend, Fox, they are so sad for a long, long time. Squirrel comes over to console them and cooks a lovely dinner. While she cooks they all reminisce about Fox. Memories of Fox help them to feel better. This colorfully illustrated book would be a nice selection for children ages 4 and up who are mourning the death of a friend.
Steve Garvin
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
A nice tale of how forest friends lose fox. Fox had been an instrumental part of their circle of friends, so his passing had a big impact. Nice illustrations by Debi Glior created a nice environment for the characters.
Gemma Quilliam
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
A really nice book to help kids deal with grief and loss. Beautiful illustrations
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Alan Durant is the author of books for a wide age-range, from picture books such as Burger Boy to top-end teenage thrillers (Blood, Flesh and Bones). Having worked as a copywriter at Walker Books, he is now a full-time author.

He's married, with three children and lives just outside London. He does a lot of school visits throughout the UK and abroad and also runs writing workshops.

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