Prasadam-Halls and Kim celebrate new life with a rose-colored perspective.
The story opens with a double-page spread of a black-haired, brown-skinned mother cuddling a brown-skinned baby in a sunlit meadow replete with tree blossoms and flowers and rhyming text: “Welcome, little baby. / Welcome to your world.” The subsequent double-page spreads are done in the same lush style and show mama and baby animals with gentle smiles, cavorting in their golden-hued perfect habitats as the rhyming text (in second person, “Look up to the sky. Can you see the sun?”) extols the harmonious beauty of the world to readers. The narrative leans purple in its effusion, blithely ignoring strife, not to mention the food chain: “Listen to the creatures of the air and land and sea / living whole and happily, living wild and free.” The illustrations, while delightfully colorful, match, with their depiction of environmental perfection, the determinedly rosy tone of the text. It’s a nice concept, this welcoming new life to the world, but the whole story has an anthropocentric feel to it—beginning with the book’s title—as if this Disney-perfect natural world of harmony and health that “loves you through and through” is there only for the human child’s pleasure—an out-of-date idea, to say the least. In conclusion, the story asks readers, referring to “your world,” “will you love it too?” A vague nudge to stewardship? It’s unclear.
Relentless. (Picture book. 2-5)