Jessica's Reviews > Before You Came

Before You Came by Patricia MacLachlan
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Dec 03, 11

bookshelves: children, picture-books
Read in December, 2011

Wow. This really, really wasn't what I expected. I thought that Before You Came would be about a mother telling her child what her life was like before, and it is, but not in a way that would encapsulate a common experience (something like, "I got married to your daddy" or "I went to college," which, yes, I know, aren't universal experiences). What you get with Before You Came is a lyrical and wonder-filled story of nature. For example, who has a canoe?

Everything is undeniably beautiful, from the text to the illustration, but the illustrations are too eye-searingly neon for my personal taste. It must be an issue of preference, because I wasn't the biggest fan of illustrator Diaz's Newbery winning Smoky Night, either. I do think that this would be a beautiful book to read aloud to your child (though I still much prefer The Runaway Bunny), or in a storytime.

Ages 4-7
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