Cover image for Before your were born / by Deborah Kerbel ; illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo.
Before your were born / by Deborah Kerbel ; illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo.
Publication Information:
Toronto : Pajama Press, 2019.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm
Through the changing seasons, a couple waits for their baby while the animals in the forest and ocean near their home welcome their own young. The rhyming text describes the parents' emotions and dreams as they wait to welcome their new baby and tells the child, as it grows how much they were loved and wanted even before they were born.
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KER Book Easy Collection

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"Before...You were a song in our hearts, a star in our eyes." Told from the perspective of new parents welcoming their baby to the world, this touching love letter to young children by Governor General's Literary Award-nominated author Deborah Kerbel describes with lyrical grace all of the promise held by new life. As the seasons change from fall through winter and into spring, the expectant parents' anticipation over the baby's arrival is mirrored in the animals around the family's seaside home, marrying the natural world to the family's experience.Suzanne Del Rizzo, author-illustrator of My Beautiful Birds -- a New York Times Notable Children's Books selection and winner of the 2018 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award -- adds an intricately tactile element with her lush illustrations rendered in polymer clay and acrylic wash, depicting the animals in scenes at times playful and other times serene.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kerbel's lullabylike verses draw allusions between moments in nature and a family's anticipation of a new baby: "You were.../ A song in our hearts,/ A star in our eyes,/ A smile on our lips,/ Shimmering skies," she writes. Rizzo's unique illustrations are rendered using polymer clay and acrylics to create a dioramalike effect. Forest and mountain scenes feature textured trees and blue-tinged snow, thick like cake frosting. Among the animals in the spreads are foxes, bears, birds, and deer, and a blue whale and calf swim under ocean swells. The many animals gather to welcome the infant, "where Father Sky/ meets Mother Earth,/ A new family dawns/ in the glow/ of your birth." A mother and father hold their newborn in a verdant seaside meadow. Rizzo brings eye-catching allure to Kerbel's wistful welcome. Ages 4-7. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.