by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis
Preliteracy Partners / Belly-Books 3/01/2014
14 page, 8 x 8 Board Book
Age: last trimester to 3+
“Exciting results rom recent studies show the powerful effects of reading to babies in utero: a rhythmic, repetitive story read regularly during the last trimester will soothe your baby after he or she is born. It’s also been sown that sharing storied with pretern aies familiarizes them with the voices of their parents and other family members, and that babies can even absorb elements of language while in the womb. Such discoveries inspire the Belly Book Collection.”
“Hello in there, baby! I’m thinking of you
As you’re curled up inside me so small
Every joy we share
All my loving care
And I can’t wait to show you it all!”
Can’t Wait to Show You consists of one poem of 10 5-line stanzas. The poem begins with one stanza on the first spread, two stanzas on the second spread, and alternates from there until the final one stanza spread. The rhyming scheme notation is a-b-c-c-b. If not for the first line standing alone, the 5-line stanzas are close to the limerick form.
The authors base their book on the idea that in the last trimester, the child can hear the voices outside of the womb and can remember those voices. This familiarity helps the child relax, find a happy mood, and may help the child at birth. Singing the poem will intensify this, as newborns can recognize repeated songs, which also has a calming effect. The process of reading to their yet-to-be-born child also helps the parents’ transition into parenthood and enjoy the nine-month gestation period.
The poem is event centered. Parents anxious to meet their child is the on-going theme consistently stated in the fifth line.
“Oh, I can’t wait to show you the . . . “
In the second stanza, they cannot wait to show their child the light of the sun through rainbows, suncatchers, and sunbeams. In the final stanza, the parents cannot wait to show the child their love. The poem is easy to find a nice consistent rhythm by which to sing the verses or simply read them aloud with ease. The meter is consistently perfect.
One of the most interesting features of Can’t Wait to Show You is the book’s shape. The edges and corners curve making the rounded book smooth and perfect for a baby-belly. The book is designed to comfortably sit atop the pregnant woman’s belly and, later, the child, as she or he sit in mom or dad’s lap listening to the now familiar poem.
The illustrations are beautiful. Each new spread advances the age of the child from third-trimester to toddler and then flows full-circle back to a newborn on the final spread. The babies and toddlers are happy bundles of baby fat and smiles; images that will be irresistible to most. The pages are thick, perfect for children’s grips. The weight of the book as a whole should help it stay in the given belly position.
I love the poem Can’t Wait to Show You. Here is my favorite spread; the fourth spread:
“If you try some bananas and peaches
Lick the spoon so they don’t go to waste
For your birthday I’ll make
Chocolate angelfood cake
Oh, I can’t wait to show you the taste!
“Your blanky is warm, soft and snuggly
The splashy bath suds make you squeal
A kitten will purr
When you snuggle her fur
Oh, I can’t wait to show you the feel!”
The love of reading is acquired best when started early. Reading to your child in the womb is the best start, as long as reading to your child continues through the years. The beauty of the words and illustrations make Can’t Wait to Show You the perfect baby shower gift. It would also be a unique gift as unique as the poem inside the pages.
Can’t Wait to Show You is not a novelty book. Nor is it just for mothers. Fathers can and should read to their baby; getting to know the one person who will wrap him around their finger for a lifetime. Can’t Wait to Show You is destined to become a family favorite that lasts many years, and then becomes a cherished heirloom passed down to succeeding generations.
CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW YOU: A CELEBRATION FOR MOTHERS-TO-BE. Text and illustrations copyright © 2013 by Jacqueline Boyle and Susan Lupone Stonis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Preliteracy Partners / Belly-Books.
Learn more about Can’t Wait to Show You: A Celebration for Mothers-to-Be and Belly-Button Bookss HERE.
copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews