BEFORE YOU WERE BORN by Nancy White Carlstrom


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6


A luminescent tale extolling the miraculous changes wrought by an infant’s arrival. Expanding upon the gently reassuring words of Psalm 139, Carlstrom (Glory, not reviewed, etc.) details the myriad ways in which a couple’s life evolves with the birth of their child. Amid the references to God are more earthy allusions, both the heavens and the earth rejoice in the child; fish shimmer a hello, ducks quack their congratulations, while a great-grandmother croons a special song. “Her blessing song was like a star / rising to the heavens. / God must have smiled.” Whether earthbound or spiritual, the verses marvel reverently at the wonder of a new life blooming. Effulgent imagery continually conveys the sense that this child is the beacon of its parents’ universe, enveloping all in its radiance. Saport’s (Tupag the Dreamer, not reviewed, etc.) pastel and charcoal illustrations convey the same lustrous quality as the poem. Broad, sweeping images fill the pages, depicting the softly rounded figures of the parents cradling their infant, expressing serenity through simple details such as peacefully closed eyes or slightly curving smiles. Rich hues of deep crimson, bright saffron, and vivid cobalt mingle together to create a vibrant setting for Carlstrom’s affecting verses. A beautiful portrayal of the transformation of a couple into a family. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8028-5185-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Eerdmans
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2001


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