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YOU WERE THE FIRST by Patricia MacLachlan


by Patricia MacLachlan ; illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-316-18533-2
Publisher: Little, Brown

Two doting parents celebrate the many milestones of their first child.

Very proud parents (dad is white; mom has Asian features and coloring) narrate here, taking time to spell out all of the special moments they have shared with baby. They croon to the little one that he or she (it’s not clear whether the child is a girl or a boy) was first to smile, cry, coo, look at the trees and flowers, go to the beach, crawl, dig in the garden, throw a ball and more. Through the poignant moments selected and the realistic yet muted illustrations that accompany them, readers watch as the seasons change and the child grows from tiny newborn to intrepid toddler. A blissful portrait emerges, with milestones such as teething pain and temper tantrums scrupulously avoided. The tender final pages—while potentially envy-inducing for those readers not first-born themselves—reveal the authentic but often unspoken feelings many new parents harbor: “You were the first to teach us how to be parents. // One day there may be a second— / or a third—to sleep in the basket with the yellow ribbon wound round. // But you will always be the first.”

More than the children it ostensibly targets, new parents will appreciate this tender celebration of the parent–first baby bond that grows as fast as the little one does. (Picture book. 3-6)