'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 28 May 2021

Review: Before You Were Born

Before You Were Born is a celebration of new life; diverse, multicultural and inclusive.

Stunning covers prepare readers for the content while understated end pages of delicate blue welcome.

The book opens on an outdoor scene. 

A baby shower is taking place beneath a tree with coloured fruit. Older and younger people sit together with expectant mothers, at a table displaying various types of edibles. They are surrounded by children.

There was a party just for you.

The following double spread shows the veranda of a farmhouse. Chickens and ducks, geese and cows in the pasture create diverse surroundings that match the people of all ages that stream through the gate. They carry food and flowers.

Family and friends all gathered there.

Women waiting to give birth, share the experience of the moving baby inside their body. They speak of hopes and dreams for their coming child. They are gathered on a blanket on the ground. Full bowls of food are being prepared and shared.

All talk was of you and when you would come.

The red earth that surrounds them is being churned by feet, dogs, and bike tyres.

The pages continue in this vein with reflections on what parents would say to their child as it grew, about the time they waited for its coming. Each one speaks of love and longing; some in different languages. All of them use the same words.

Preparations are made, not only for the child, but for the changes to the parents’ lives; the emotions, the imaginings, the future. Dreams that are born with the new life.

Your toys were all waiting…for you to be there.

Helene Magisson’s exquisite illustrations encompass all that Katrina Germein expresses in her verse text, and more. Visually stunning, this outstanding picture book represents every parent, regardless of their origins.

Title: Before You Were Born
Author: Katrina Germein
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Harper Collins, $19.99
Publication Date: 5 May 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781876288150
For ages: 0 – 2
Type: Picture Book