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When I Was Born
     

When I Was Born

4.0 1
by Isabel Minhos Martins
 

All children love to hear the story of how they arrived in the world. When I Was Born revisits the adventure of discovering the world for the first time. Breathing, seeing, hearing, tasting, and touch are encountered afresh in this beautifully illustrated, poetic tale, reintroducing readers to the richness and delight of life. Children and adults alike will

Overview

All children love to hear the story of how they arrived in the world. When I Was Born revisits the adventure of discovering the world for the first time. Breathing, seeing, hearing, tasting, and touch are encountered afresh in this beautifully illustrated, poetic tale, reintroducing readers to the richness and delight of life. Children and adults alike will love award-winning illustrator Madalena Matoso's colorful and touching images, accompanied by a text that is ideal for reading aloud.

“This small gem by a Portuguese duo celebrates the wonder of mere existence.” –Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This small gem by a Portuguese duo celebrates the wonder of mere existence. "When I was born I had never seen anything," Martins begins, the words appearing alone in white type in a sea of black. "Only the darkness of my mother's tummy." A pink-faced boy then embodies the voice, reflecting on the time when he was brand-new: "When I was born I had never played with stones or got muddy hands... My hands had never touched anything except each other." And he shares how far his hands have reached and what they have learned: "With them I have already found out... that some things have other things inside them." Matoso echoes the straightforward observations with strongly contrasting primary colors and flat, impish human figures, animals, and shapes. The boy's delight as he recounts the growth of his senses and abilities ("My mouth was amazed to discover what it could do: screaming, laughing, calling things by their names") is a reminder to readers of both the milestones they have passed and of the many more to come. Ages 3–8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A boy describes the many things that were new to him when he was born: "I had never seen the sun or a flower or a face." He lists sensory experiences and natural wonders, and concludes that there will always be new things to discover, "and that is the most wonderful thing of all!" This quietly philosophical book is unlikely to hold the attention of young children, and those who are older will find the illustrative style too "babyish." Adults are most likely to appreciate the message about everyday miracles, but even for them the book will not be especially compelling. The blocky, stylized illustrations with their limited palette only partially reinforce the text: the spread that mentions forests, mountains, and beaches only shows the forest; the one about animals with feathers, scales, or hair does not show a scaly example. At one point, the young narrator declares, "My hat is yellow." However, the child is not wearing a hat; an adult passerby is wearing a yellow hat. At odds with the solemn wonderment of the text is an illustration that includes a giraffe defecating with a loud "THUMP" as an example of "how loud it can be when something falls." An odd little book that may have lost something in translation.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
Kirkus Reviews

This cheerfully existential tome charms, from the stylized cherry tree on the endpapers to the very last page.

The first page is black, with white sans-serif letters: "When I was born I had never seen anything." The narrator had never seen "the sun or a flower or a face" or the sea or the forest. His hands didn't know about playing. "Everything was about to start." His mouth discovers it can taste and shout and kiss and stick his tongue out. He lists smells he loves, like the scent of his grandmother's lap. Each day he discovers something new: running and jumping; saying "nice words and bad words"; learning colors. The images are made of strong, simple shapes and hues of red, white, black, green and gold. There is a wonderful spread of peppers, cherries, melons and tomatoes, as well as a wall of family pictures with an uncle with a long (bright) red beard, an auntie with green skin, a pink-faced grandpapa and a golden-skinned grandmamma (both with white hair). Birds, animals, leaves and boxes sit proudly on the pages, surrounding the child, who sports a green-and-white striped shirt and rosy cheeks.

Translated from the Portuguese and first published in England, this account of a child's discovery of the world and its wonders unfolds self-consciously but winningly.(Picture book. 3-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781854379580
Publisher:
Tate Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Isabel Minhós Martins is a Portuguese author and publisher. Madalena Matoso's quirky and graphically striking imagery won her Portugal's coveted National Prize of Illustration in 2008.

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When I Was Born 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago