Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BABY BLESSINGS by Deloris Jordan

BABY BLESSINGS

A Prayer for the Day You Are Born

By Deloris Jordan (Author) , James E. Ransome (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5362-3
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

A baby is born and he will “always be loved with a love that knows no bounds.” So begins Jordan’s characterization of parental love and support. The illustrations depict the family through the years, as the infant becomes a toddler and then a boy with dreams of his own. Unfortunately, as the text takes on religious undertones the prose becomes labored, as does Ransome’s talented brush. The artist’s photo-realistically rendered illustrations, done in a warm palette, tenderly portray a devoted African-American family. However, the choice to interpret the text literally confines the illustrator, whose best work is loose and spontaneous. Here he struggles to find a balance between mimicking reality and expressing it. Despite these drawbacks, the overall work, with its simple design and single-sentence structure, has an appeal until the end, when a previously used image is duplicated, leaving readers to wonder whether there was a lack of artwork or an editing mistake. Regrettably, it’s distracting enough to diminish the thoughtfulness of the story. An unsatisfactory execution for what was a lovely idea with an ideal author-and-artist pairing. (Picture book. 4-7)