Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp
Publisher: Tamarind, UK
This book is dedicated – “Cal, Sarah, Amy, Chris, and all the babies.” Cal and Amy are my son and daughter. Sarah and Chris are their spouses. “All the babies” has two meanings here. I want to welcome and celebrate all the babies in all the world as they join our earth community. Also, though I have three wondrous grandchildren, I wanted my own children to know there is room for all the babies to come.
The Story Behind The Story
I had the inspiration for this book so very long ago. I knew I wanted to communicate the wonder of a baby growing inside the womb and how the whole earth comes together to welcome a child at the moment of birth. It was a tall order.
When I started writing, I gave the baby a name and titled the story, “A Welcome Song for Simon.” My editor later suggested the change to “Baby” as it was more inclusive.
I decided to have a sister, Emma, come up with the idea of sharing her favorite sounds, the sounds of all the seasons, which I hoped would culminate into a beautiful welcome song, a celebration of sounds and seasons, nature and family. I hope A Welcome Song for Baby is the perfect book for any child preparing to welcome a new little sister or brother.
“The small girl narrator of this lovely book comes up with a wonderful idea when she sees everyone else busy with welcome preparations for the new baby and wonders what she can do. “Can the baby hear us?” she asks her mum. “Yes, Emma, the baby is listening,” comes the reply. She decides to share all her own favourite sounds beginning with winter’s ‘Tinkling icicles. Whistling wind. /Slushity-slush-slush-snow. // Chattery teeth. Snowballs SPLOSH. / Sleds and skates shoosh- shooshing. // Purring kitty. Snoring dog. /Pop-pop-crackling fire./ All winter long, I share the sounds./ All the sounds, all round, all round.”
Come spring and there’s blossom blowing in the breeze, chirping sparrows, robin’s song, whirring dragonflies, clickety bikes, WHOOSHING swings, lizards skittle-scooting, rumbly thunder and more.
Summer brings the sounds of bees, flies, crickets, bouncing balls, skipping chants, a water sprinkler, frogs croaking, owls hooting and campfire stories told by her dad.
Then one warm summer’s day Emma’s mum announces, … “Today is Baby’s birth day.” Not long after, it’s time to welcome the new family member face to face … and come autumn Emma and her new sibling have a whole lot of new sounds to enjoy together.
This is an enormously heart-warming celebration of a new baby told with sensitivity and affection. The closeness of the whole family is beautifully conveyed in Sophie Allsopp’s richly hued and patterned illustrations.”