Samantha Vamos

Book Reviews

Guitar from Before You Were Here, Mi Amor, children's picture book
Illustration from Before You Were Here, Mi Amor

School Library Journal - March 1, 2009
A tender love story about an extended family's preparation for a new baby. As the mother explains to her unborn child, everyone has participated; papi has made a rocking chair, abuela has painted a mural on the nursery wall, abuelo has planted a tree "to grow along with you," etc. Descriptions of the loving family and their various tasks are given mostly in English, with some Spanish words seamlessly woven in and included in a glossary at the end of the story. However, Cohen's illustrations do a marvelous job of giving clues for those who are unfamiliar with the language. For example, the baby's sister draws a picture of nuestra familia, and holds it up proudly. Cohen uses the texture of the paper and his watercolor paints to create depth and movement in the vividly colored illustrations. This lovely story may encourage discussions of individual birth preparations in readers' own families.
Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ