I love book shopping for the very young—it gives me a reason (not that I need one but it helps) to wander about the picture book aisles at length where I inevitably find something to add to my own collection. My latest discovery being Debra Frasier’s On the Day You Were Born.
Beautifully illustrated (by Frasier) in bold earthy colours and simple lines. The text is written as a poem of welcome and tells what the various elements of nature—wind, trees, tide, moon, stars, sun—were doing to prepare for ‘your’ arrival on the planet. (The trees, for instance “…collected the Sun’s light in their leaves, where, in silent mystery, they made oxygen for you to breathe…”)
Frasier is new to me, so I looked her up and found that ‘connection to nature’ is a theme close to her heart. I’ve already called my bookseller with a list of titles just for me—as well as gifts for friends and family, both young and older.
“On the even of your birth
word of your coming
passed from animal to animal.
The reindeer told the Arctic terns,
who told the humpback whales,
who told the Pacific salmon,
who told the monarch butterflies,
who told the green turtles,
who told the European eel,
who told the busy garden warblers,
and the marvelous news migrated worldwide.
While you waited in darkness,
tiny knees curled to chin,
the Earth and her creatures
with the Sun and the Moon
all moved in their places,
each ready to greet you
the very first moment
of the very first day you arrived….”
—From On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier.