Review: When I Was Born

When I Was Born EditorsPick (2)

GoldAardvarkGoldAardvarkGoldAardvarkGoldAardvark 5/5 aardvarks

Format: Picture book
Ages: 2-6
Author: Isabel Minhós Martins
Illustrators: Madalena Matoso
Publisher: Tate Publishing (published February 2011)
Pages: 32
ISBN-10: 1854379585
ISBN-13: 978-1854379580

When I was born I had never seen anything.

At first glance, this book looks almost like it’s aimed at babies or toddlers. When I first picked it up at the library, the simple illustrations and short sentences seemed too young for Little E (4) and more suited to Tiny J (1.5). But when I sat down to read it with both girls, I realized that it’s actually a beautifully simple book, a poem really, about life, learning, and growing.

When I was born
I did not know there was a sky

or that the sky could change
or that clouds were so beautiful.

When I was born everything was new.

Everything was about to start.

Sincere and earnest without being saccharine, childlike without being patronizing, When I Was Born is a gem of a picture book. This is a wonderful book to read at bedtime, slowly, quietly, with just enough spots for giggles (spoiler alert: one page features, surprisingly, a giraffe pooping. Which, obviously, is Little E’s favourite part).

 

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