Our Nest

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Overview

With soothing language and enchanting illustrations, this gentle picture book leads children from the warm nest of their bed to the ever-expanding embrace of the world around them.

Snuggled in bed,
You’re all safe and warm,
Like a bird in a nest in a tree.

A child tucked in bed, a doe curled in the grass, a boat anchored in the harbor — everything has a nest. Even the ocean ...

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Overview

With soothing language and enchanting illustrations, this gentle picture book leads children from the warm nest of their bed to the ever-expanding embrace of the world around them.

Snuggled in bed,
You’re all safe and warm,
Like a bird in a nest in a tree.

A child tucked in bed, a doe curled in the grass, a boat anchored in the harbor — everything has a nest. Even the ocean needs the earth to be its nest, while beyond, the universe holds the stars. In this tender poem, Reeve Lindbergh and Jill McElmurry use an ever-widening focus to show children the vast world beyond their beds, and all the love and comfort to be found there.

A rhymed view of the interrelatedness and belonging of all things and creatures in the universe, from the stars, to the sea, to a mouse, to a child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Snuggled in bed,/ You're all safe and warm,/ Like a bird in a nest in a tree." But nests-even figurative ones-aren't the exclusive domains of animals, as Lindbergh (My Hippie Grandmother) explains in this poignant lullaby. McElmurry's (Mad About Plaid) detailed, gouache murals and rounded images framed in generous white space offer a kind of visual security blanket, as readers leave the confines of the bedroom and backyard. The text prompts them to think about how a valley acts as a nest for a river, a harbor as a nest for ships, the land as a nest for the ocean, and space as a nest for the planets and stars. "We're here in the nest of creation/ With the earth and the stars up above," Lindbergh writes, and by this point it's a metaphysical leap most youngsters will be ready to make. Even so, the author reassures them by bringing her poem back to the immediate and particular in the final lines: "You're here safe and warm,/ in the nest of my arms,/ When I wrap them around you with love." Author and illustrator synchronize the images on every page; McElmurry's curvilinear shapes, saturated colors and streamlined characterizations-stylings that recall early 1960s graphic design-echo the lilt of the text, and seamlessly link one painting to the next as Lindbergh's verse casts an ever-wider net. Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A nest is more than something made of straw, sticks or feathers; it is a home, a place where one feels safe and loved. In this picture book, Lindberg shares a variety of nests made by animals as they care for their young. The field mouse uses an old garden glove, while the doe just flattens some grass and curls up with her fawn. Even inanimate objects can find a nest as is the case with boats that come home to nest in the harbor. The theme moves from the small nest of the mouse to the large earth which makes a nest for the ocean and bigger still the universe that "carries the earth and the moon...[and] Is a nest for the sun and the stars." It ends with a message that we are all "here in the nest of creation" and closes with a mother tenderly kissing her young son as he prepares to go to sleep. A soothing book perfect for that nighttime wind down, and a warm expression of love for the entire world and those in it. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 2 to 5.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This cozy rhyming story makes a complete circle as it looks at different types of "nests" in nature. It opens with a young boy at bedtime, then moves out into the world to describe how a mouse nestles in an old garden glove, a chipmunk sleeps in a brush pile, fish rest in brooks and oceans, boats find safety in the harbor, and space makes a nest for the stars and planets. The focus returns to the boy's bedroom where his mother gives him a goodnight kiss. On one level, the book describes how all things in nature are interconnected ("All things together are in the same nest-/-We're here in the nest of creation"); on another, it celebrates a mother's love for her child ("And you're here, safe and warm,/In the nest of my arms,/When I wrap them around you with love"). Done in a folk-art style, the charming gouache illustrations reflect the contemplative mood. This short piece makes a nice choice for a Mother's Day storytime, or it can be combined with Mary Ann Hoberman's A House Is a House for Me (Viking, 1978) or Megan McDonald's Is This a House for Hermit Crab? (Orchard, 1990) for a fun look at different homes.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Luminous undertones in McElmurry's neatly brushed landscapes and cozy close-ups reflect and enhance the lyricism of Lindbergh's rhyme. Cataloguing nests, the poet begins with a reader or listener snuggled in bed and a dog nestled nearby, then moves ever outward, from a mama cat on a pile of clothes and a hen out in the barn, to the ocean nested upon our planet, which is in turn nesting in the universe, and back, step by step, to a heartfelt finish: "We're here in the nest of creation / With the earth and the stars up above. / And you're here, safe and warm, / In the nest of my arms, / When I wrap them around you with love." Bedtime reads lie thick upon the ground, but for its comforting message, flowing text, warm sentiment, and jewel-like art, this comes close to such standards as Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon or Kate Banks's And If the Moon Could Talk (1998). (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763612863
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/8/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Reeve Lindbergh
Reeve Lindbergh, the daughter of aviator Charles Lindbergh and author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, has written many children’s books, including MY HIPPIE GRANDMOTHER and ON MORNING WINGS, as well as several memoirs for adults. She says of OUR NEST, "As a child, I loved to curl up in bed and feel as if I were inside a little warm nest. I’d think about all the other children who were curled up at the same time, just like me. It gave me a wonderful feeling."

Jill McElmurry is the illustrator of THE KETTLES GET NEW CLOTHES and I’M SMALL AND OTHER VERSES, and is the author-illustrator of MAD ABOUT PLAID. About OUR NEST, she says, "I first read the manuscript a few months after September 11 and felt so comforted by its vision of our world nesting peacefully in the universe, the way a doe nests with her fawn in tall grass. Illustrating the story was a challenge, but I found a new way of working in the process."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2005

    Will become a classic!

    Every child should have 'Our Nest' in her/his permanent library. It is beautifully written and the illustrations are warm and inviting. Our 2+ year old grandchild has requested it so often she has it memorized! I cannot recommend this book more highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2004

    A WARM, REASSURING LULLABY

    This warm, reassuring bedtime story has an all-embracing theme that helps children to understand that they are part of a much larger creation. More importantly, that everything in that creation is interrelated and safe. A rhyming story it begins with 'Snuggled in bed, You're all safe and warm, Like a bird in a nest in a tree. The dog curls up At your feet with a sigh, And sleeps with his head On your knee.' Immediately, young ones are reminded of how safe they are. From there we move to a mother cat who made a nest in a pile of clothes, and a hen who made a nest in the hay. Eventually, carrying the theme in broader and broader perspective, we see boats who come home to a nest in the harbor, and even to 'The vastness of space, that mysterious place, Is a nest for the sun and the stars.' We close with a reminder that we are all here 'in the nest of creation.' A thoroughly satisfying lullaby that should encourage the sweetest of dreams.

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