An ode from an expectant mother to her unborn child.
Written in first person, rhyming verses find a mother sharing her hopes and envisioning her new life after she births her baby. Each verse begins with the line “Before we met, I dreamt…” as the mother imagines meeting the child she is carrying in her womb. Melmed offers vivid imagery of the baby’s features: skin that is “softer than a flower” and a cry that is “sudden as a shower.” On the last three pages the mother meets her baby face to face. Here the mood transforms from introspective to celebratory, along with an abrupt but not too jarring change in the verses’ beat. Melmed captures the unconditional love an expectant mother has for her baby. The book’s soothing rhymes are an invitation to repeated bedtime readings. Tsong’s ethereal illustrations echo the book’s dream analogy, depicting the mother with long black hair and possibly Asian features. The colors begin with blues and purples as dark as night. Page by page, the colors lighten with splashes of shades of red and orange before exploding into a sunrise. However, her vibrant digital collages are busy and distract from Melmed’s delicate verses, a problem compounded by the setting of the text in a light, thin type that sometimes gets lost on the page.
Eloquent rhymes with striking imagery are upstaged by busy illustrations. (Picture book. 3-5)