Welcoming Babies
story by Margy Burns Knight
illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Margy Burns Knight's Welcoming Babies
illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien

Children's picture book review by Jessica McCarl

Ages 4-8

Are you welcoming a baby into your home soon? Are you about to get a new grandchild in the family? Are you just like me and love babies and want to celebrate everyone else’s baby?

Welcoming Babies is a beautiful book that uses amazing paintings and simple text to show how babies are welcomed in different cultures and places around the world.

It would be a wonderful gift for someone with a new baby or a great book to teach children about babies and families.

Each two-page spread in Welcoming Babies includes a soft but incredible painting of a baby and how it is being welcomed into the world.

The headers on each page tell how the baby is welcomed and then there is short paragraph telling more.

For those wanting to know even more, there is added information after the story. There you can read more in-depth information about each baby, where it is from, and information about the tradition.

Here are the precious babies presented in the book:

  • Afam is born into a village and the people in his village sing to him.
  • Maria and Tomas are twins who have candles lit and a special meal enjoyed in their honor.
  • Cyrus’s family is Muslim and blesses him with sugar butter on his tongue in hopes that he has a sweet life.
cropped image from Welcoming Babies

  • Both Rachel and Kasa have naming ceremonies.
  • Alexis is baptized into the Christian church.
  • Rosa is adopted and her brother and sister are sending out announcements.
  • Joseph is held by his family.
  • Ricardo’s family is celebrating his Christening.
  • Lia’s grandmother has given her special gifts for a long, sweet, sturdy, and rich life.
  • Anna’s family plants a celebration tree in her honor.
  • Darrell and his father love to play each morning.
  • Ok-hee a Korean baby is celebrating her first birthday.
  • In addition to all of these sweet babies, Luke is the baby that I just cannot forget.

    Luke’s page tells how he is touched. He is in an incubator and his parents can only touch him through the holes in the side of his incubator.

    I know that the beginning of any baby’s life is a huge change but with a sick child in an incubator, it is especially tough. If there are already children, it is even more difficult because they may not understand what their brother or sister is going through. I do not know of any other book where a baby is in an incubator but I know many families that could relate to Luke’s story.

    As you can tell by the list of babies in the book, the author has really done a wonderful job of presenting many different cultures, geographic areas, and circumstances. What I love is that she presents all of these differences in simple terms that children can understand. Then, she adds the details at the back of the book to help those of us who may not know of all of these different traditions and places. I myself learned so much from reading the book and the material in the back!

    This is a book for children but I know that adults would enjoy it as well. I plan to buy it for the many friends I have who are getting ready to have babies. Is there someone that you know who would need Welcoming Babies?

    Webmaster's note: Did someone say "new addition to the family? You may want to visit our children's books about adoption and foster care section.

    More children's books celebrating multiple cultures.

    Read more of Jessica's reviews.

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