Ida, Always

By Caron Lewis, Charles Santoso (illustrator),

Book cover of Ida, Always

Book description

A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears.

Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always.

Then one sad day, Gus learns…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

2 authors picked Ida, Always as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Based on a true story about two polar bears at the Central Park Zoo, this is a beautiful book about the death of a loved one. In a zoo, there may literally be only two-of-a-kind, so the loss of one is especially poignant. The realization that one of the pair would be “going away” at first seems almost unbearable. Their leave-taking (complete with days of denial and days of laying together comforting each other) really takes readers through the process and yet offers enough wisdom and hope to help them come out better on the other side.

From Ellen's list on bringing on a tear.

This story is based on real polar bears, Ida and Gus, who lived in New York’s Central Park Zoo. The book features gentle illustrations and a lovely text that introduces us to Gus and Ida’s friendship. Each day, they spend time swimming, chasing, and sunning themselves…until the day when Gus learns Ida is very sick and is dying. 

This book allows readers to walk through the stages of illness and death, experiencing some of the feelings Gus and Ida are feeling. It also shows the ways in which memories and love for a lost beloved can bring comfort to those…

From Jolene's list on picture books about death.

Want books like Ida, Always?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Ida, Always.

Browse books like Ida, Always

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in best friends, bears, and New York State?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about best friends, bears, and New York State.

Best Friends Explore 81 books about best friends
Bears Explore 73 books about bears
New York State Explore 519 books about New York State