PPBF #6 from the Archives — On the Day You Were Born
August 22, 2012
This was first posted in December 2011 on my old blog.
Author/Illustrator: Debra Frasier
Publisher: Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1991
Genre: Picture book
Audience Age: Birth to death and in between
Theme: Birth, birthday, nature, Earth, environmentalism
Opening Sentences: (Actually, this excerpt is from the second double-page spread)
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.
Synopsis: All the creatures and elements of the universe focus on the birth of a new baby – any baby, all babies – and celebrate the arrival of the little one. Each double page spread tells of some natural phenomenon, and links it to the child him/herself. For example, “On the day you were born the Moon pulled on the ocean below, and, wave by wave, a rising tide washed the beaches clean for your footprints…”
This is a moving, lyrical imagining that could be shared with infants as a soothingly spoken lullaby, could remind children and adults of the wonder of the interconnectedness of the universe, and could calm a person at the end of life and ease the transition into whatever lies beyond this life.
Activities/Resources: There are five pages of information at the end of the book about the different parts of the universe depicted in the lyrical text and imaginative illustrations. Steve Heitzeg, a Minnesota musician, has written an orchestral version of this book. It has been recorded on CD and video.