"Even before you were born,
I was your grandma and I loved you."
A loving grandmother eagerly awaits the arrival of her grandchild. She dreams of the baby's soft sighs, sweet smells, and tiny toes, and imagines the infant smiling, rolling over, and crawling for the first time. Finally, the baby arrives and Grandma is ready with a very special message.
Shed's (The Butterfly House) intimate, soft-focus oil portraits add a nostalgic quality to this sweet story of a grandmother recollecting the arrival of her grandchild. "Even before you were born, I was your grandma and I loved you," muses the narrator as if addressing the child directly. She then goes on to enumerate all the wonders of babyhood ("I imagined your soft sighs and sweet smells/ and your tiny toes lined up/ like pink pearls on a necklace") and times shared ("I imagined holding you close,/ rocking you,/ watching you make faces as you dreamed"). Her imaginings span a full year, through baby's first Christmas and birthday ("I saw you eating birthday cake, pink and yellow frosting finger painted across your face") and culminate with the infant's actual birth. Debut children's author Bowen captures the eagerness and anticipation attendant upon the birth of a new family member, and her poetic descriptions ("hands spread out, like little starfish"; "ribbons of autumn sunlight weaving through your hair") brim with sentimental tenderness. Shed's realistic portraits evoke the feeling of a family photo album, including close-ups of the fetching baby and various beaming family members. Just right for sharing on Grandma's lap. All ages. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.