Over and Over

Days turn to months and years as a parent and child delight in the routine comforts of each season in Over and Over, a lush and reassuring picture book by M.H. Clark and Beya Rebaï.

Morning breaks as a parent wakes a child whose bedroom opens to a pastoral landscape of blooming flowers. In verdant spreads, the pair share quiet moments including cloud-watching and snow-angels as they revel in all seasons of the splendorous outdoors. The parent, our narrator, offers poetic refrains that emphasize a sense of wonder along with their steadfast support. Most pages include the anchoring repetition of "over and over"--along with a companionable golden dog who rarely leaves the family's side. A luscious gatefold at the end opens to reveal the pair traversing all four seasons.

Rebaï pairs leafy, impressionistic vistas accented in cool blues with Clark's crisp and descriptive language. The outdoors loom throughout, beckoning, as nature dominates even the end pages, debossed cover and occasional indoor spreads. Through spare verses, Clark (You Belong Here) beautifully balances the immutable role of parental adoration with the cyclical yet fleeting impermanence of their shared experiences. "And over and over, the seeds will come up/ from the dirt like a veil of green./ And we'll hold out our hands in the rain like a cup,/ catching drops that are cool and clean." This picture book begs to be explored with curiosity and joy, and is a tender and wondrous ode to nature, the passage of time and a parent's unshakeable devotion. --Kit Ballenger, youth librarian, Help Your Shelf

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