Katrina Germein (text) and Hélène Magisson (illustrator), Before You Were Born, HarperCollins Publishers, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781876288150
My kids love to hear stories about when I was pregnant with them and their births. The story of Daddy taking a wrong turn on the way to the hospital in his excitement about becoming a first time Dad is a particular favourite. They also like to hear about my cravings and what it felt like having them somersault in my belly.
Katrina Germein has written a charming picture book entitled Before You Were Born. This book is a celebration of the wait for a baby to be born. Written in rhyming couplets the text focuses on the experience of the baby shower. It features the traditions of a variety of family groups from an array of different cultures. (I would give this book an A+ for sensitive inclusivity). Further, the book beautifully captures the speculation and longing that accompanies many pregnancies.
Hélène Magisson’s illustrations are the perfect compliment to Germein’s text. Full page illustrations invite readers into the homes and lives of expectant parents. The illustrative style is soft yet brightly coloured, perfect for the intended audience of 1+ years.
This book would make an ideal gift for a baby shower or a new born. It is likely to become a treasured classic that will be read and reread because it provides a lovely starting point for sharing memories.
Reviewed by Anne Varnes