Oh, my. I love writing for this blog! Joan and I knew we would have fun, but there is so much joy in sharing beautiful work. I just discovered Welcome Precious!
This is exactly what we mean by literary quality and beautiful illustration. If there was a board book award, this work would have been a contender!
The beautiful poet Nikki Grimes of Bronx Masquerade authored the lyrical text that welcomes the newborn to our world. Listen:
"Welcome to a world
wrapped in rainbow."
"For now, rest, Precious,
rest in the ark of my arms.
Rest, safe beneath the blanket
of love's lullaby."
From "wrapped in rainbow" to "the ark of my arms"....how-gorgeous-is-that? I find I keep returning to the beginning of this work to read the rhythm that is going to soothe your readertotz. The crisp, fresh images are a delight to the mind and ear.
And then there are the paintings by Bryan Collier!
Bryan's watercolors and collage glow with the joy of life. The layers of texture and color invite your eye to wander through his world and enter the love being shared between the characters.
I particularly respond to the portraits of the mother and then the father holding the baby. There's a looseness and freedom to the abstract backgrounds that brings a flowing, pulsing warmth to the illustrations. The magical bond between parent, child, and grandparent is caught by Collier's brush.
I just visited Bryan's online gallery and discovered his works are affordable! I don't think I can snag the images and post them here. You must go and see them. My favorite: "Love Can Be Heard."
Taking Care of Business:
Because Welcome, Precious was originally a picture book that was released again in a board format, let me take a moment to talk about reissues. How do we personally view them at readertotz?
Sometimes a reissue is a poor choice as the picture book is the best format for a text. Editing out text and illustration to accommodate the shortened board book structure is often detrimental to the story. Or packing it all in is just as poor of a choice. However, in other instances, the board book is actually the better form to communicate the story, or at least it is equally viable.
Joan and I are committed to responding to reissues as if they are first releases. We will not compare the work to its original form but view it exclusively as an infant-toddler book. Each reissue will be gauged against original infant-toddler books. Our aim is to bring you the best for your baby regardless of the work's publishing history.
Therefore, with confidence and pleasure we recommend Welcome, Precious to your readertotz library!
Welcome Precious, 2008
by Nikki Grimes and Bryan Collier
Lorie Ann Grover ~author/illustrator