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School Library Journal
A mother voices a familiar message to her new arrival: that relatives and neighbors had expressed their love for the baby in a variety of ways before the birth. Grandmother planted a rosebush, grandfather brought a rocking chair, an aunt painted a mural in the nursery. In Barbour's stylized scenes, flowers, trees, and houses are depicted as bold shapes upon which a multitude of patterns have been painted. The decorative designs contrast with the background expanses of warm color in which dry brushstrokes provide texture. While the unspecified gender and Barbour's choice not to alter the mother's body during pregnancy make this story adaptable to a variety of situations, including adoption, it is questionable whether youngsters will really appreciate this title. The Cubist faces come across as rather stern, and the figures are static. The story lacks the humor of Robert Munsch's Love You Forever (Firefly, 1995), the tension and cultural interest of Barbara M. Joosse's Mama, Do You Love Me? (Chronicle, 1991), and the emotional range in Patricia McMahon and Conor Clarke McCarthy's Just Add One Chinese Sister (Boyds Mills, 2005). This title's greatest appeal may be to parents and grandparents.
—Wendy LukehartCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.