Before You Were Here, Mi Amor

Before You Were Here, Mi Amor by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Santiago Cohen.

A familia is expecting a baby and there is lots of excitement and preparation.  Mami is eating healthy foods.  Papi is building a rocking chair. Everyone helps pick out a name.  A tree is planted.  The walls of the nursery are painted.  A mobile is built.  And the older siblings offer their books and stuffed animals.  The book shines with love and anticipation, from the words on the page that offer a wonderful mixture of Spanish and English to the illustrations bright with color.  This book truly captures the wonder of a new baby for an entire extended family.

Vamos’ text effortlessly blends Spanish words with English, creating a mix that reads naturally.  Unlike some books where the Spanish can feel extraneous to the story, here it is an innate part of the book.  Cohen’s illustrations are bold and bright.  They exude a warmth and joy that is a perfect match for the subject and the text.

Highly recommended for all families, this book is appropriate for ages 3-6.