Friday, July 23, 2010
Where You Came From, written by Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad. Simply Read Books, PGC Books, 2008. $17.95 ages 5 and up
"Henry is a boy who likes to ask questions.
Every day it's something new.
Do one and one always make two? he asks.
And never something more?
But there is one particular question
he asks again and again.
Where did I come from? asks Henry."
I was not expecting to love this book, but love it I do! It is so much fun and such an imaginative romp, Henry asks the question that most little kids ask at one time or another. His parents have fully prepared their endearing and silly responses in advance, it seems. Without so much as a gulp, father is first to help set the record straight. He thinks that the stork was sick and so, the crows were called in as delivery replacements. His mother has a different version about fairies and how many it took to deliver Henry, given the difference in size.
Back and forth the conversation goes, with each adding a new and humorous version of the answer to his repeated question. Each response becomes more preposterous while remaining gentle and full of fun. They are matched by the equally gentle and charming drawings of Julie Morstad. She maintains the humorous scenarios with light sketches of Henry, mostly diaper-clad, as he comes 'home' to his parents, all the while sporting a stoic and serious facial expression...it is a serious question.
In the end, the answer is very earnest and heartwarming...for Henry and for the reader.
"That's where I came from? asks Henry.
You dreamt of a baby
and the baby you dreamed became me?
Oh yes, says his mother.
I remember perfectly now.
First there were two of us and then there were three."