The Gift by Carlos M. Valverde

The Gift

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Children learn how God gives parents babies in Valverde’s (The Grumpy Frog, 2013, etc.) picture book.

Youngsters wondering how they came into this world will get an answer in this short work. First, Mommy and Daddy ask God for a baby, says the narrator; then, when they are sleeping, God takes a little piece of each of their hearts and fuses them together in heaven to make a baby. After choosing physical features and personality traits, God wraps the baby up into a tiny, unique package that he puts inside Mommy’s belly. When the baby is born, the narrator says, parents have a gift from God, “a little angel from heaven.” Valverde offers mesmerizing, colorful full-page illustrations that depict a somewhat diverse array of families (although each has both a mother and a father): they wear jeans, headscarves, or kimonos, and they reside in grass-roof huts, igloos, or pastoral farms. One speaks Spanish, another has a menorah on its table. Meanwhile, a fair-skinned, glowing God creates babies in a star-filled universe. Each illustration features quaint details, such as ducklings in a pond, cherry blossom trees, a pair of slumbering huskies, or a pretty, decorated birthday cake. Clear, simple first-person language accompanies these images, and together they reveal a message that toddlers will understand easily: they are all special gifts from God that make their parents very happy. The author includes three blank spaces that parents may fill in to personalize the tale with such information as how long Mommy was pregnant, the child’s birthday, and his or her name. Although the book contains no explicit details about the reproductive process, parents may appreciate the symbolism of lines such as, “God put the two pieces of their hearts together and used them to make me,” which are certainly more eloquent than the old stork myth.

A sweet, beautifully illustrated story for families.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-943718-00-9
Page count: 30pp
Publisher: Golden Seed Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
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