Review Blog

Jun 28 2011

When the World was Waiting for You by Gillian Shields and Anna Currey

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2011. ISBN 9781408806302.
'When the world was waiting for you, the air was bright, the sun seemed new ...' begins this gentle rhyming book about the preparation and anticipation that precedes a new baby. With its little rabbit characters, it is designed to show the newcomer that they were loved and wanted right from the very beginning, and their arrival caused great excitement and anticipation. The nursery is made ready, gifts are bought and everyone is delighted when the moment finally arrives. It also gives older brother/sister the opportunity to reflect on how exciting their own birth was for everyone.
Everything about this book is designed to convey the special-ness of birth - its padded cover, the soft, watercolour illustrations and the whole, positive message all contribute to a very special picture book. A simple concept beautifully executed.
I first shared this book with Miss 5 as she awaited the arrival of her new sister so she could understand how we were just as excited about her arrival as that of her new sister. It really helped her feel included in the event and we talked about the things we were doing for Stacey that we also did for her. She seemed to really relate to it, and now, when Stacey is 12 weeks old, she often makes comparisons between what we do for Stacey and whether it was the same for her. 'Did Grandad hold his nose like that when I was little?' (Yes.) 'Will we take Stacey to the snow and make a snowman?' (Maybe not this year.) She really seems to be getting an idea of the passage of time and how she has grown and changed already.
The press release says, 'The traditional story and illustrations reminiscent of the work of E.H. Shepard and Beatrix Potter, give this the feel of a classic picture book. The padded jacket and gold foiling make it an ideal gift'. I agree.
Barbara Braxton

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