Kelly and Allan marry their talents to produce a rather awkward title about growing maternal affection prior to a child’s arrival.
Most young children savor stories about when they were little, but this British import focuses on "your mommy before you met her." She seems surprised at being pregnant; initially she is a “bit scared, / very excited and not quite prepared.” But, the refrain declares, “the bump—like her love—grew and grew.” The mostly pastel illustrations, which appear to be executed in watercolor and ink, portray the future mother as an exuberant, pink-cheeked woman with squiggly yellow-and-orange hair. Readers will chuckle at her attempt to play hide and seek—her bump is quite visible sticking out from behind a tree—her need to buy a “humongous tent to wear” and her cravings for “green ice cream and onion rings.” But the rhyming text is often forced and occasionally strains for scansion: “She hugged it and lugged it all across town. / She never once stopped and put that bump down.” The artwork has appeal for preschoolers, but the concepts seem better suited for older children.
While it may touch a parent’s heart and be a welcome gift for an expectant mother, look for other titles that better celebrate a baby’s entry into the world. (Picture book. 4-7)