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Before You Came
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PreS-K-What distinguishes this title from the crowded shelf of books declaring the depths of maternal love? A tropical feel; a sun-drenched, yellow aura around people and objects; and Diaz's brilliant hues and decorative style. Each spread contains a sentence or two listing image-laden activities a mother enjoyed before the birth of her daughter: "I had a red canoe. When I paddled downriver, swallows dipped and swooped, catching bugs just above the water...Before you came, I had music. Your father played the guitar for me." When the baby arrives, these things are introduced and shared with her. Diaz continues his practice of showing faces in profile. The rosy faces and hands are the only surfaces not covered with arabesques and patterns. The sky, trees, cat, canoe-all are adorned with or composed of screened or fully saturated designs. Vibrant pinks, magentas, and oranges contrast with deeper greens and blues. The monologue includes an enthusiastic plug for books and reading: "All day long. All night long if you want." This will likely find an audience with expectant and new mothers. There may be those, however, who find it difficult to relate to the idyllic lifestyle.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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