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Friday, April 30, 2010

Just Like You, written by Marla Stewart Konrad and illustrated by Lin Wang. Zonderkidz, Harper. 2010. $17.99 all ages

"On the day you were born, I looked
in your eyes, cuddled you close, and knew
the world would never be the same.
I counted your fingers and toes, whispered
in your ear, and sang you a lullaby."

The earthy tones of the endpapers plot a world map where the babies introduced in this loving book are born. In an author's note Marla Konrad talks about the book's expression of joy felt when her own children were born. As her family grew she found herself thinking of other families in the world, and about the many shared similarities from one family to the next. Each baby is shown in its mother's arms, beneath a paragraph that parallels the one quoted. The family's shared joy and way of celebrating is described before the baby is tucked in, with the universe's stars shining down. All beautiful babies...just like you.

The babies hail from China, the Amazon, Russia, the Arctic, Egypt, Africa, India and Australia. Each is welcomed according the customs of their home country and each is loved beyond imagining.

Marla Konrad ends with her own special message to newborns:

"On the day you were born, God wrapped his gentle arms around the whole world. He looked into the eyes of every tiny baby and laid them in their mother's arms. He counted the hairs on each little head.
And he called the angels to sing a lullaby of joy."

If you are looking for a special book for new parents...

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