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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  38 reviews
How deep is the bond between a child and a beloved pet? And how far will a pet go to protect his dear friend? To the ends of the earth . . . always. Alison McGhee, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, gives voice to the love that knows no bounds in this gentle and poignant picture book about friendship, loyalty, and most of ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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"I will tame the squirrels."
"I will protect the blanket."
"Because there is nothing I will not do to keep this castle safe."

I so love Alison McGhee. And I so loved this book the first time I picked it up. And then we got our own "keeper of the castle" from the pound and I knew I had to get a copy of this book. I just gifted it to my 2 1/2 year old and it went over so well, on the third reading, the seven-year old has laid claim to it as well. Because, as anyone who has a lovable castle-keeping p
McGhee, A. (2009). Always. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Tumble Books


In this endearing book, the reader finds out just how far a loving and devoted pet will go to protect its owner! To the ends of the Earth! The pet believes he is the "keeper of the castle" and imagines all sorts of adventures he would go through to prevent anything bad happening to his owner. There always seems to be a special bond between children and their pets and this story helps to convey those
The digital version of Always offers two choices for young readers. You can have the story read to you, or you can read it yourself. When you opt to have the story read to you, the chunk of text that is being read is colored red. All of the text that appears on each page stays there until the page turns. The read to me version has simple but fun cartoonish elements and minimal sound effects that enhance the story. The read by myself version was disappointing. The picture book is basically just s ...more
Talia Apkon
I "read" this book as an enhanced book through TumbleBooks. The story, about a dog who loves his human, is cute, though there wasn't much of a plot. Though the words appear on the screen, the presence of a voice reading aloud and moving illustrations makes me think that most kids probably wouldn't actually be reading at all while they watched this. I suppose it would be fine for this to take the place of a read-aloud (not always, but as necessary), but I don't think the enhanced book could take ...more
S Collins
Oct 04, 2014 S Collins added it
Shelves: child-lit
McGhee, A. (2009). Always. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

Library of Virginia


This is a charming story about love and service. The main character is a cute little dog who absolutely adores his owner and pledges to protect her and his home. Always is an awesome book for early readers and can be viewed as a Tumblebook online through the Library of Virginia’s site. When you viewed online readers are able to see the main character and the setting come to life; which make the expe
Amber Wilson
McGhee, Alison. (2009). Always. New York: Simon & Shuster.



This is an adorable book about just how far a dog will go to protect a child that is his owner. The dog believes he is the "keeper of the castle" and describes everything he would do to make sure he protects the child in the story. Using this story on TumbleBooks would be great because it is interactive and even highlights the text on the page for the reader. This gives the student a different way to hear and read a stor
Dianne J.
Age of readership: Ages 4-7

Genre: Picture Book

Diversity: The loyalty of a pet dog to its owner

Illustrations: Pencil and color drawings

My response to the book: This is a sweet story about the love and devotion of a dog to its owner. All children with pets can relate to the bond they have with their pets. I viewed and an online edition of this book at Even though this is a subscription site I was able to get a free trail membership.

Curricular/Programming c
Cute story about a little dog and how he will protect his child/owner. Saw it on Tumblebooks.
This sweet story follows a little dog with an active imagination. He is guarding his house and page by page the colorful and simple illustrations show what kinds of things he is guarding the house against (dragons and robbers, etc.) and at the end of the story, he snuggles up with his owner and says that he is doing all these things, always doing them, "because you live here". I absolutely loved this book. It was adventurous and sweet. While the version was online, with moving animation and some ...more
Kristin King
The children weren't as engaged as I was.
Harue Fiedler

I will tame the squirrels. (あるときはおしろをおそうリスとたたかい)
I will halt the avalanche. (またあるときはせまりくるなだれをぴたりととめて)
I will ambush enemies. (まっしぐらにつきすすむ)
I will patrol for intruders. (いつもおしろのなかをみてまわり)
I will stop savage beasts. (わるいやつらがやってきたら)
I will divert meteors. (ほしがおちてきたらかっとばし)
I will contain the wind. (かぜがふくときはしーっとしずかにさせる)

Mrs Bond
The cover and title led me to think this story would be something different than what it really is. I expected a sentimental story about how much a girl loves her puppy. Instead I experienced a sweet list of ways that a dog will protect the castle (because the girl lives there). The list begins with realistic dangers (squirrels and bugs) and quickly becomes silly (meteors, lightening, the sea). The story will be enjoyed by both boys and girls, but the cover will make this a hard sell for some of ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I wanted to like this book more, because it had a cute premise--that a dog is so loyal to its owner that it will do anything to "protect the castle". I would have been happy if the text and pictures had just depicted real "threats", like the squirrel and the spider. Protecting the blanket was SO cute! But when text and pictures started to talk about deflecting meteors and blocking lightning, I lost interest. I didn't like the mixture of real and fantasy. Just my preference, I guess.
It was OK.
Youth Services
An adorable little dog tells his owner that he will always protect her and their "castle" -- the pictures and situations become more and more grand and silly, while all based off of reality. For example, he scares away a pack of horrible monsters (gray mice in bandit masks) -- funny and heartwarming!

Lisle Library Call #: E MCG
I had to pass a half an hour waiting for my work at Staples to be ready, so I read children's books at Mr. Paperback looking for a special birth day book for Natalie.

Very cute story of about how a tiny dog defends his home because he loves his owner. Cute illustrations enhanced the story.
This is a completely adorable book! (Though I think it may suffer from an ill fitting cover and title.) The dog is the keeper of the castle! And the book details all the things he will do to keep the castle safe. It's sweet and very funny.
Not for everyone -- it's super tender. As with some of her other books (Someday) this one is almost more appropriate (and meaningful) for grown ups than for kids. A good gift for a doglover.
Mommy says: Cana (age 7) thinks this is waaay too corny and too sweet. She says it makes her mad to read it b/c it's so syrupy.

Finny (age 5) on the other hand, likes it.
Mary Catherine
Sweet, simple, and adorable story about a dog and the lengths he would go for his loved one. Picture book for the young ones with beautiful illustrations.
Anyone who has owned a dog will love this book! It's a sweet story about a little girl and her relationship with her dog who just happens to be the narrator.
Angela Nelson
This is a very cute book about a puppy who will do anything to protect "the castle" because he loves his owner. It is a very sweet book and easy to read.
Deborah Joyner
Aaron likes this book more than Ethan I think - the dog protecting the "starter castle" as all good dogs should! So, Ethan owns a copy of this one!
Jennifer Conrad
A book about a dog protecting his home because he loves his child owner. It's cute, but the metaphors/similes go over a young child's head.
Cute. Cute, cute, cute. Love the pictures. Like the idea. And I can't help butleave the book smiling.
Very cute. A good analogy for parents/older siblings/pets and protectiveness. P.S.- I got teary at the end.
Always by Alison Mcghee is about when a boy who is her is her best friend he will protect her
Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge
Used TumbleBooks to share this story about a dog who will ALWAYS protect his home and family. P.K.
A dog defends a little boy and his home from all kinds of possible disasters...always.
dogs, pets, love (anthropomorphized from dogs point of view)
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Alison McGhee is the award-winning author of picture books, poems, and novels for all ages, including the young adult novel ALL RIVERS FLOW TO THE SEA and the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Alison McGhee lives in Minnesota.
More about Alison McGhee...
Someday Shadow Baby Julia Gillian (and The Art Of Knowing) All Rivers Flow To The Sea Snap

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