April 03, 2019

Before You Were Born

Written by Deborah Kerbel
Illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Pajama Press
978-1-77278-082-6
32 pp.
Ages 4-7
May 2019

Books are wildly popular baby shower gifts and Before You Were Born will be a hit with parents and children alike so consider it your future go-to book for celebrating an upcoming birth.
From Before You Were Born by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo
In gorgeous spreads of polymer clay illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo, animals including humans, foxes, bears, deer, whales and birds like the northern flicker are seen to make their homes but it's all about the anticipation of new arrivals. Deborah Kerbel begins to share the wonders that babies bring with her line, "Before, you were..." They are described as so many wondrous things, from "A song in our hearts" to "A star in our eyes" and "The sun on our faces." The lyricism begs to be put to music. 
From Before You Were Born by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Then, the text moves forward with "You were..." and a host of heartfelt sentiments about "A whispered secret that only we knew" before "And now..." Here is the culmination of that anticipation, the birth of new life, and "A new family dawns in the glow of your  birth."  Oh my. Before You Were Born is a love poem to a child, a pup, a cub, a nestling, a calf... It's a song to a baby born in love.
From Before You Were Born by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Whether a house overlooking an ocean, forests of conifers or white birch, or the ocean depths, Suzanne Del Rizzo takes us to where animals make their homes. I wish I could show you every image in Before You Were Born because the breathtaking detail in the deer hidden amongst the leaves, the mother bear and cubs in the trees or the girl in the meadow watching the whales are spectacular. And the magnificent skies of blues and creams and purple-pinks? Heaven-sent, just like the little ones celebrated in Before You Were Born.
From Before You Were Born by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo
This is the second collaboration for Deborah Kerbel and Suzanne Del Rizzo. Their first book together, Sun Dog (Pajama Press, 2018), is charming young readers as a Blue Spruce award nominee and Before You Were Born will undoubtedly captivate young children and the parents who adore them.
From Before You Were Born by Deborah Kerbel, illus. by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Dedicate a new birth with Before You Were Born, a book that is born in a celebration of life.

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