The Wonderful Things You Will Be
The first time that I remember holding Mini Me's hand is seared in my memory. Now, I'm not talking about caressing her tiny newborn digits, or her holding onto one of my fingers with her whole hand as a baby. I'm talking about us strolling hand in hand together, mother and child. We were at the park. The sun was shining. Mini Me was somewhere between 16 and 18 months old. She was a late walker at 15 1/2 months as she didn't want to let go of our hands because she was a cautious toddler and still is a cautious kid. But, the sun was shining, we were strolling along to go see the ducks and Mini Me put her hand in mine. I thought to myself to hold onto the moment--and the feeling of joy and love that burst into my heart in that tiny moment is seared on my heart forever.
What I love about Emily Winfield Martin's The Wonderful Things You Will Be (published 2015) is that, to me, it is written as a love letter to a child. We've already established last week that I'm a dreamer. What other way to express this than the narrator in this story telling her little one all about the things he or she can and will do? The child's choices are limitless and the message is full of unconditional love and support.
Normally I'm not a huge fan of picture books written in rhyme. It can feel forced--and I can see why many publishing houses frown on rhyming submissions. But Martin's text doesn't feel forced or contrived--the rhythm and meter is just right. And the illustrations are bursting with color and texture. Martin's illustrated children are whimsically depicted in various dress-up possibilities,, and cover every shade of the rainbow in skintone. The end pages alone are frameable. I love the message behind this book so much that I've decided it's my new go-to book to give to expecting friends. Little Lion and I just gifted a copy to someone. After reading it together, of course. Because the best books are shared.
Rating: On full display on the lower shelves. And I've already rated it as completely giftable.
Ages: Tiny little hands on up. As long as you're careful that they can't rip those pages, especially the one that extends out as a foldover. Baby brains and ears will love the lulling rhyming quality and older ones will love the bursts of color and costumes.
This month, I am reviewing and recommending books that aren't necessarily Valentine's Day themed, but have heartfelt messages of love. The Wonderful Things You Will Be certainly fits into that category--a message of unconditional love for a young child and the person they will grow up to be one day.
Photo in thumbprint with Mini Me's artwork as a backdrop. (posted with permission) The end page full of babies and two of my favorite pages from The Wonderful Things You Will Be are posted below.