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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Before You Were Born, written by Deborah Kerbel and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo. Pajama Press, 2019. $21.95 ages 2 and up

"The sun on our faces,

The full moon at night,

The tiniest murmur of
tender delight.

You were ...

A curve in the road, up

ahead out of view, "

In this welcome lullaby for a new baby, Ms. Kerbel links nature with the patience needed for parents anticipating its arrival. She shows how everything in nature spoke to them ... a song in the moonlight, the moon in the sky, the smiles lovely weather can bring, and the warmth of the sun.

As the parents await the spring birth, the animals of the forest are welcoming their young under the same sky, and with the same happiness. Little readers will see foxes, hummingbirds, deer, bears, woodpeckers, chickadees, and a blue whale with her calf.

The artwork is created in polymer clay, acrylic paint, and other media with the same skill that Ms. Del Rizzo has shown in her previous works. They are exceptional in color, texture and design. The double page spreads show a seaside cottage, the surrounding forest, pond, meadow, and the wide expanses of sky at night and during the day. The animals and settings are detailed, realistic and beautiful to see.

"Light of the world,
                      Curled into our palm.
Where Father Sky
      meets Mother Earth.,
A new family dawns
        in the glow
              of your birth."

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