With just the right touches of humor to balance the sentiment, Sala neatly encapsulates motherhood.
Addressing her child directly, the blonde, white mother recounts how she felt the baby growing, read books, listened to advice, and ate spinach, but she still wasn’t sure she was ready. “Could you tell I was nervous? // … // But then you were here. / Ten toes. Eight pounds. // Love. / Big fat love.” She does all the things a mother does—rock, feed, hold—but there are still times she gets nervous and doesn’t have all the answers. “I realized that I would spend my life doing things to make you happy. // And that would make me happy.” And the final two spreads not only capture the very meaning of parenthood, but may even cause many to choke up: after raining her love down on her child, “we would walk, hand in hand. // Until you let go.” Glasser’s ink-and-watercolor illustrations complement the text. Soft colors and white backgrounds keep the focus on the emotions so plainly conveyed. This pair don’t do anything unusual—kissing baby’s toes, turning the child upside down, reading a book, dancing and twirling in the rain, walking on the beach—but their bond makes everything magic. Father (seen in only one crib-assembly picture), mother, and child are white, and the child is androgynous.
Motherhood has rarely been summed up so succinctly or so well. (Picture book. 4-7)