a child’s love for his dog, Elfie. Brilliantly author/ illustrated by, Hans Wilhelm, I'll Always Love You, nicely communicates the relationship between a boy and his dog.
“My brother and sister loved Elfie very much, but she was my dog,” we are told by the first person narrator in the beginning of the story. The child makes it a point to tell Elfie he will always love her each night before they go to asleep. Hans Wilhelm steadily moves us along with his masterful portrayal of the development of the close bond shared between the child, and his dog. As the years go by the young boy grows older, and Elfie grows rounder (and older) until the family takes her to a vet who explains to the family that Elfie is slowing down with age.
A neighbor offers him a puppy, and he judiciously declines although he knows Elfie would not mind. Then he gives the neighbor Elfie's basket figuring the neighbors puppy needed it more. It seems he is thinking of his neighbor when in actuality he is helping himself. Wilhelm's has an ability to teach us without us knowing a gift shared by all great storytellers. There is not one wasted word in this beautifully crafted picture book.