Author/Illustrator: Matthew Cordell
Publisher: Disney/Hyperion, May, 2017
Intended Ages: 2-5 (I'm saying adults!)
Themes: Babies, Families, Love
Opening Line: "On the night you were born, our world shined bright as the sun."
Synopsis: Talking to their child, two gorillas reminisce about his birth, all the emotions they experienced and their dreams for his future.
What I like about this book:This concept book takes a sentimental journey through the parent-child relationship. Like LOVE YOU FOREVER, I believe the text will appeal more to parents than to children, but the illustrations are adorable for all ages. The babies in my life never asked about the day they were born, but this would be fantastic for those who do. As a parent, I re-experienced all of the emotions on this journey. The spare text packs a powerful punch. Just look at that first line! Yes, when a baby is born, night can become day. Everything feels possible in a way it has never felt before.
Perhaps to make it more relatable, the gorillas sleep on a "people" bed in a thatched cottage with tables, book shelves and a crib for baby. Gorilla lovers will note that the illustrations show a silverback (male), a female, and a baby, but using the gorillas instead of people lends a feeling of universality to the journey. The huge emotional moments are paired with soft, spattery dreamlike illustrations that expertly capture the raw feelings of these moments.
I recommend this book as a gift for expectant and new parents! I appreciate that it lacks LOVE YOU FOREVER's Lion King-esque circle of life and somewhat sad ending. There are moments of sadness in the book, but the resolution is a celebratory one.
Resources/Activities: Because I think this book is primarily a wonderful gift book for adults, the recommended activities are a bit different today!
- Write a letter to a child in your life to read when they're older, or maybe when they become a parent, telling them about the day they were born, or your hopes and dreams for them (or both, if appropriate)
- If you're lucky enough to have a parent figure still in your life, call or write a thank you.
- List your own current hopes and dreams
- Ask a child about their own dreams for what they want to do or be. Ask how you can help them. NO judgment!
This review is part of PPBF (Perfect Picture Book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books. Organized and curated by author Susanna Leonard Hill, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF
Note: My review is based on a review copy received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”