A book to help a young child welcome a new baby sibling
LOIS ROCK has established an international reputation as a children's writer. Specialising in Bible stories, prayer books, and information books, her books have been translated into over 30 languages with sales of 4 million copies.
Rock (A Child's First Book of Prayers) offers words of wisdom for youngsters facing two watershed events: the birth of a sibling and the death of a loved one. She's well served by the very different styles of her two illustrators in these paper-over-board volumes. In Now We Have a Baby, she directly and succinctly mirrors children's emotions in single sentences. "Sometimes you can feel left out," the author acknowledges, while Massey (the Touch & Fit series), working in comforting, velvety pastels and simple shapes, portrays a preschooler sitting by himself on a staircase, looking wistful. But the second half assures readers that their love teaches an infant important skills (smiling, sharing) and helps make "a baby part of our family, for a family is love." When Good-Bye Is Forever takes a much different approach-the success of which may depend on readers' religious upbringing. After reminding youngsters that life is filled with good-byes, Rock addresses the finality of death with analogy ("Sometimes death comes unexpectedly, like a frost that kills the spring flowers"), homespun philosophy ("Into the empty space of good-bye will come the memories of happy times") and faith-based language ("Loved ones who die pass on to a new beginning... We call that place heaven, where God makes all things new"). The author's earnestness is never in doubt, but the book is little more than a laundry list of homilies. It's the contemplative, stylized realism of Moxley's (Elephant Dance) artwork that shapes the pages into a cohesive whole, eloquently conveying a mood of loss, longing and acceptance. Ages 2-5; Forever 3-8. (Nov. 2004) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.