Format: Board book (also available as a picture book)
Age: 1-3 years
Author: Teddy Jam
Illustrator: Virginia Johnson
Publisher: Groundwood Books (published August 2011)
“This new baby / lies in my arms / like summer dark / sleeping on new grass …”
I love a book that is also a poem. This little book’s expressive, rhythmic words and contemplative watercolour illustrations bring to my mind Japanese poetry and Chinese brush painting — and yet are accessible enough for a young toddler to enjoy. Certainly a very young reader will not grasp the finer points of each simile (“my new baby’s cry / chases old ghosts / back into the shadows”), but I don’t believe that’s a good reason not to enjoy poetry together. This New Baby is a book that is impossible to rush through, one where each word dances in the air for a moment after it is spoken.
Please, give this sweet book to all the pregnant women you know. Its small loveliness deserves a presence on their bookshelves.