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How Long Is Forever?
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How Long Is Forever?

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Fans of Guess How Much I Love You will love figuring out how long forever is alongside Mason and Grandpa.

Mason is waiting for Nana's blueberry pie and complains that it's taking forever. So Grandpa challenges him to figure out how long forever really is. Is it as long as Grandpa has had his tractor? No. As long as it took Nana to grow the roses to the top of the chimney? N
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Charlesbridge Publishing (first published 2020)
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Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  82 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Lauren Paletta
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nowadays we use forever for everything, especially when we are being impatient. But what is the true definition, or the true meaning of forever? Is it how long it took for this plant to grow? Is it how long this thing has been in your home? Forever should not be used lightly and the little boy in this story learns just that!
Kim Chaffee
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This adorable story is filled to the pie crust with heart. Mason, like every child I’ve ever come in contact with, feels like waiting takes “forever” and sets out to find what forever truly is when Grandpa challenges him. I love Kelly Carey’s word choice. It’s clear she was careful and purposeful with each and every one. “He ran his hand over the prickle of rust on the bumper. It felt as old as forever.” So beautiful, so meaningful. I absolutely love this book!
Elisa Boxer
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An instant classic about the immeasurable bonds we share with loved ones. I knew I was hooked when I started tearing up at the author's dedication! With delightful illustrations that ooze togetherness and country charm, this tender book celebrates the everlasting connections between grandparents, grandchildren, and, ultimately, all those we hold dear. ...more
Christina Soontornvat
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What kid hasn't moaned that something is "taking forever"? This sweet story about a boy and his grandpa explores the nature of time, the impermanence of even the most ancient-seeming objects, and the unending love in a family. Sweet, vibrant watercolor illustrations and the farm setting make this appealing for young readers. And I love that the book features the intergenerational relationship. Kids will want to read it again - and they won't want to wait forever! ...more
Carrie Finison
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This simple yet enchanting story is both existential and concrete as a child and his grandfather explore the concept of ‘forever’ in a totally child-centered and appropriate way. It will make a great conversation opener for kids (like mine) who love to ask big questions. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Qing Zhuang pair perfectly with the gentle, straightforward text. A heartwarming book about the power of lasting love between grandparents and grandchild.
Hope Lim
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
HOW LONG IS FOREVER is a sweet and lovely story that you will want to go back and read again. The beautiful text, accompanied by soft, colorful illustrations, takes readers into lush farmlands, where Mason searches for the meaning of forever alongside his grandfather. A sense of caring and peace swirls across each spread as Mason explores and plays in his surroundings. When Mason finally realizes how long forever is, the love and bond between grandparent and grandchild is as sweet and wonderful ...more
Sandy Brehl
The charm of the narration is well-supported by the gentle illustrations and appealing boy/grandparents. Consider this an early introduction to the sense of relativity- especially when waiting for blueberry pie to to be ready to eat.
The conclusion is a delightful confirmation that "forever" often relates to the feelings we have for those we love.
Abi Cushman
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really sweet tale about a grandfather and grandson waiting for Nana's blueberry pie to come out of the oven. The story not only makes an abstract term (forever) more understandable to young kids, it also demonstrates a really loving bond between a grandson and his grandparents. I think it would pair well with GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? at story time.

Charming illustrations by Qing Zhuang really bring this heartwarming story home.
Emma M.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-w-kids
The concept of time is a tricky one for kids. Even a minute can seem to drag. We loved exploring the concept of forever with Mason and his Grandpa. Beyond exploring the concept of forever, this title helps kids think about the impermanence of various things in the world around them and led to some really interesting discussions in our home.
Danielle Hammelef
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This brightly illustrated book explains in kid-friendly terms what forever means by a loving grandpa who patiently helps his grandson understand with real-life examples until the boy figures it out on his own. Highly recommended heartwarming tale for all readers.
Joana Pastro
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In these fast-paced times, where patience is lacking, this beautifully written and illustrated picture book invites the reader to pause and appreciate time spent in nature, with family, more specifically with grandparents, and also some delicious blueberry pie! Carey’s lyrical words and Zhung’s beautiful palette and texture gently takes the reader on a stroll around the farm and to that satisfying and heartwarming ending. Also, don’t forget to give the blueberry crumble recipe a try. It’s delici ...more
Gregory Barrington
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How Long is Forever, is a lovely new book that reminds you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and think about our time with each other...and Pie. You'll definitely be thinking about pie when you read this book. Qing Zhuang's stylized watercolor and pencil illustrations compliment the text beautifully and little ones will also enjoy the wandering cat who makes several background appearances throughout the story. ...more
Larissa Marantz
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kelly Carey's debut picture book is a sweet, sweet story of young impatient boy who is learning the difference between the saying and the true meaning that some things are forever. When it comes to blueberry pie, I'll admit I'd be quite impatient as well. But as Mason strolls along the family farm and connects with his surroundings, he realizes the temporal nature of things is no match with the forever love he feels in his heart for his family. Deliciously illustrated by Qing Zhuang. ...more
Rob Justus
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In a fast paced world where everything seems to take “forever”, HOW LONG IS FOREVER? reminds us that, at first, our youthful impatience can actually mean something much deeper, and something much more from the heart. The idea of “forever” can be a tricky concept for children to grasp. Author Kelly Carey and illustrator Qing Zhuang beautifully unfurl a simple story of a grandfather patiently strolling with his grandson across the farm while trying to figure out what “forever” can actually mean. I ...more
Julie Rowan-Zoch
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Richly textured illustrations underscore the gentle pace for an impatient boy wanting and waiting forever. His grandfather asks him to show him something that is forever, and so we follow the boy on his search all over the farmyard, finding good guesses all around. A heartwarming exploration of time and meaning.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mason is waiting for Nana to finish baking her blueberry pie, and it's taking forever. Grandpa asks, "Do you even know how long forever is?" and Mason shows Grandpa something that have been around for a time that feels like forever to the little boy. But none of those feel like forever to Grandpa, until Mason finally settles on something on which they both can agree.

A wonderful way to teach metaphor in addition to a great little story of family and caring.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: soaring-20s
This book is sweet and comforting and funny, and when you read the very last page, I guarantee you will want to read it again. Some things I love about it: the relationship between Mason (the main character) and his grandfather, the beautiful farm scenes we get to see as Mason searches his grandparents’ farm for an answer to Grandpa’s question, the way Grandpa lets Mason find the answer on his own, the subtle humor, the way the farm cat pops up in the illustrations but not the text, the rhythm o ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pb, picture-book

I received an advanced copy of this delicious book from Kelly Carey, a New England friend I met at NESCBWI and the Whispering Pines Writing Retreats.

I love a book that has multiple hooks and HOW LONG IS FOREVER has some great ones: seemingly unanswerable questions, whip-smart grandparents who know how to keep grandkids busy, and DESSERT.

Like most kids, Mason doesn't like to wait, especially when it involves Nana's blueberry pie. But Grandpa's smart and asks Mason a philosophical question about
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
HOW LONG IS FOREVER, especially when a little boy is forced to wait for something as delicious as blueberry pie? Is it as long as Grandpa’s had his tractor? As long as it took Grandma to grow her roses? In lush language and lovely illustrations, this book follows Mason and his Grandpa as they explore the meaning of forever, which Mason learns is far more intangible. I really loved how illustrator Qing Zhuang began the story on the title page and carried it through the front matter. The front mat ...more
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a delightful story of one young boy’s quest to understand the essence of what forever really is. Kelly Carey cleverly depicts how a child’s idea of “forever” varies considerably from that of an older person. As Mason hunts for the meaning of forever, he enjoys all the beauty and treasures his grandparent’s farm holds. Perspective is a key theme in this story, and parents and teachers will find many jumping-off points for discussion regarding time and perspective. Children will easily eng ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. It's about Mason and his Grandpa, who helps him wait for something that is taking forever. It's a story that can help a child (and maybe an adult or two) understand the concept of "forever." The relationship between the Grandpa and Mason is sweet, and I love how they explore the farm and nature as Mason tries to figure out exactly how long forever really is. I can imagine this story leading to conversations between parents and kids as they figure out their own defini ...more
Mary Copp
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How long IS forever? That is a big question for a little boy. Kelly Carey adeptly explores this abstract concept in very concrete terms in this lovely, timeless story. Mason and his grandfather have a tender give and take as they explore their surroundings, and what forever means, while waiting for Nana’s blueberry pie which is taking....yes, forever! Carey’s debut picture book is calming and loving. It is a celebration of intergenerational love, an appreciation of what is around us as well as t ...more
“Even though it took forev—I mean, even though it was a really long wait.”

Mason just can’t wait for his grandma’s blueberry pie. It seems to be taking forever! “Do you even know how long forever is?” asks his grandpa. So Mason begins the hunt for forever. The tractor? The roses on the trellis? Not even close. How about how long the stream has been running? Or how long the big elm tree has been around? Mason is getting closer, but he still hasn’t found forever. As he finally gobbles down his gran
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It can be hard to understand what “forever” is when you are a kid waiting for Grandma’s delicious pie to come out of the oven. That IS a wait that can feel like forever! In HOW LONG IS FOREVER a boy and his Grandparents wander their farm, comparing all kinds of “forevers,” and ultimately figuring out that one of the best kinds of forevers—the forever love between a boy and his grandparents—is sweet-as-blueberry pie. A great book to share with a loved one—especially for kids and their grandparent ...more
Melanie Ellsworth
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
HOW LONG IS FOREVER? is exactly the book we all need right now. The love in this book is a balm for the loneliness we’re feeling during this global pandemic. The soft, homey illustrations evoke a sense of safety and wonder, and children will love spotting the cat in each scene. The text and illustrations depicting a grandson and grandfather walking around their farm discussing the meaning of forever also remind us of how we can build connections and find peace by spending time in nature. A wonde ...more
Anna Crowley Redding
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is the hug we all need right now. Stop what you are doing, grab this book, and read it to the people you love. Rarely am I surprised by a book's ending in the gentle, loving way I was surprised by this one. Right now, during the open-ended Covid crisis, this one book can put the entire thing into perspective for kids. While this book has absolutely nothing to do with the crisis, it talks about what forever really means... a message that will bring comfort straight to the heart and remi ...more
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While enduring the long wait for his grandma's blueberry pie, a boy romps through the family farm with his grandpa and attempts to quantify the true meaning of forever. I love that the book is both playful and practical as it tackles this elusive concept. The gentle, whimsical artwork echoes that same balance between the abstract and the concrete. As you follow Mason and the family cat around the grounds, getting closer to the answer, you'll want to hug your own grandparents and share a pie—and ...more
Candy Wellins
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It takes a typical childhood expression and turns into a beautiful story and teaching concept. Mason gets frustrated when his grandma’s pie “takes forever” to bake. To help pass time, Grandpa challenges him to figure out how long forever is. After some exploring in nature, mason figures it out for himself and the story ends perfectly. This book is great for teaching difficult concepts like forever and is also a very sweet snuggle-up story.
Vicky Fang
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young boy and his grandfather explore the concept of “forever” in this charming book. With playful illustrations, we follow Mason and his grandfather through the farm to discover what “forever” really means. I love how the book encourages kids to think about time as it relates to their surrounding world, inviting them to step back and look at things a little bit differently. Such a sweet book to share with your kids.
Rajani LaRocca
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With lyrical language and lovely watercolor illustrations, HOW LONG IS FOREVER is a gentle story that asks and answers a big question in a perfectly child-centric way. What are the things that last forever? Mason's journey around his grandparents' farm is delightful and organic, and his final conclusion is simple and sweet. Adults and kids will love this gentle exploration of the grandchild-grandparent relationship, and the blueberry pie looks good enough to eat right off the page! ...more
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