A wonderful trend in children’s books is the move towards more inclusive story-telling, with protagonists and other characters from diverse backgrounds. Before You Were Born, by Australian author-illustrator duo Katrina Germein and Hélène Magisson, is no exception.
A celebration of new babies, this picture book depicts the preparations by different families for their babies’ arrival. We see the backyard barbecue, the special afternoon tea and lunch, the baby shower, a beach excursion and the first peek inside baby’s room. No matter what type of celebration, it’s clear that every baby’s birth is anticipated with love and excitement by each family.
The story is told in gentle rhyming couplets, illustrated on each double page spread by Hélène Magisson’s beautiful watercolour and pastel drawings:
We tumbled and played,Before You Were Born
we cuddled and kissed.
A special occasion
Not to be missed.
But all I could think of
for all of that time
was when I would hold you,
oh, baby of mine.
Before You Were Born is a joyous affirmation of love and families of all kinds and a beautiful way to share that with a very young child.
Before You Were Born is published in May 2021 by Working Title Press, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books.
My thanks to the publishers for a copy to review.