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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  209 Ratings  ·  43 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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Jan 28, 2016 Elise rated it it was amazing
In the opening page of the book Always, Allison McGhee portrays a small dog standing in front of an ordinary house proclaiming, “I am the keeper of the castle. This castle. And I will keep the castle safe”. This dog develops human-like qualities and fights to the end of the earth to protect his castle, making the story focused on true friendship, loyalty, and love. The small dog fights off meteors with baseball bats, faces monsters head on, stops savage beasts, blocks lightning by biting right t ...more
"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
Cute. Cute, cute, cute. Love the pictures. Like the idea. And I can't help but leave the book smiling.

1/11/17 Didn't like one of the books I had originally chosen for my "A" prescool theme so I scanned the shelves and got this one. Small crowd at the beginning. They sat through quietly. Seemed to like the ending. The pictures might have been too small for them to totally get the details. Not a failure, but not amazing. Probably better as a lap-read.
Jan 31, 2017 Morgan rated it really liked it
Super cute book about a dog protecting their person. <3
Oct 13, 2015 Cassie rated it it was amazing
Title: Always (From tumblebooks)
Author: Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Pascal Lemaitre
Genre: Children's Literature
Theme(s): Friendship; Loyalty; Love
Opening line/sentence: “I am the keeper of the castle.”
Brief Book summary: The dog is willing to do anything to protect the little girl. He loves her and watches over her.
Professional Review 1:
Sometimes the best friend a child can have is a dog. A good dog is unquestionably loyal, offers unconditional love, and grants a sense of security in an unpred
Kelli Varich
Jan 27, 2016 Kelli Varich rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
The story shows the relatable bond between a child and their dog, only it's told from the perspective of the little dog. The dog goes into detail about what he would do to keep the child and their home -- the castle -- safe, from taming squirrels to blocking lightning.
The illustrator gives life to what the dog is protecting the child from by giving them faces; for example, the dog contains the wind by simply putting his paw over the wind's "mouth." The scary things in the book are depicted in a
Dianne J.
Aug 05, 2011 Dianne J. rated it liked it
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
Oct 04, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
Shelves: libs-642
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
Oct 27, 2014 Valissa rated it really liked it
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
S Collins
Sep 30, 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
TA Children's Lit Profile
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
Mrs Bond
May 24, 2011 Mrs Bond rated it liked it
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
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
Harue Fiedler
Oct 10, 2012 Harue Fiedler rated it liked it
息子(3才10ヶ月)は、日本語版(タイトル:どんなときも きみを)を先に読んだせいか英語版にはあまり興味を示さない。日本語版のリズムに慣れているからだろう。言葉的には、日本語版の方が2〜3才向きだと思う。英語版では次の様なフレーズや単語が難しいのではないかと思う。

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)

Amber Wilson
Oct 05, 2014 Amber Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs-642
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
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
Oct 02, 2009 Youth Services rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 21, 2009 jacky rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Jun 10, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks, 2009
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.
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.
Jan 10, 2010 Cana rated it did not like it
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.
Dec 21, 2009 Jess rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Very cute. A good analogy for parents/older siblings/pets and protectiveness. P.S.- I got teary at the end.
Mary Catherine
Oct 10, 2012 Mary Catherine rated it really liked it
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.
Angela Nelson
Oct 01, 2012 Angela Nelson rated it liked it
Shelves: ed-310
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.
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.
Sep 21, 2009 Edna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, pets
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.
Deborah Joyner
Mar 14, 2011 Deborah Joyner rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
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!
Susan rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2011
Ms. Juliano
Ms. Juliano rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2015
jenna nims
jenna nims rated it liked it
Nov 01, 2009
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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...

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