Just in time for a baby shower gift, one of my favorites (I have a print on my wall) came out with a new book: not that I wouldn’t have gifted the recently released board book version of Dream Animals (my review).
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
Random House, 2015.
Emily Windfield Martin’s latest opens with:
When I look at you
And you look at me,
I wonder what wonderful
Things you will be.
before the narrator begins to speculate what this new child will be. Later in the book, the reader will wonder aloud as to what the child will do:
This is the first time
There has ever been a you,*
So I wonder what wonderful things
You will do.
There are some things that will go without wondering. There are some things the narrator knows about the child, can anticipate.
I know you’ll be kind…
The sentiments are more than wonderful and I had a customer (an aunt buying for a niece) admit to becoming verklempt before hugging it to her chest and walking toward the registers with it. Natalya is still in a stage of deep-sighing when I hand her sentimental things like this to read. Fortunately, there is humor; also, she has a fondness for Martin’s art as well.
I love love love the words and pictures on the spread where a boy sitting at a sewing machine holds up tiny pants for a squirrel. Natalya recommends the one below, the one with the band (which Martin admits is a favorite).
The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a page that reads:
When nights are black and
When days are gray—
You’ll be brave and be bright
So no shadows can stay.
The image is a girl in a red coat, hood back, contemplating the red balloon stuck in the branches of a tree at the edge of a wood.
I think the endpapers are pretty sweet, too.
I mentioned the male tailor, but Martin always features a diverse population unusual to most picture books. I adore the details and I love the charmingly peculiar she includes in her books, though it makes sense if you consider successfully writing for an audience with such charming peculiarities within their own imaginations. Martin is well-suited to picture book creating.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a lovely, serious yet playful addition to the family library. You can’t start too young with this one, nor can you out-grow it.
of note: Martin fans will recognize and smile at the appearance of the Kitten Bandit among others. also, fans, check out RandomHouse’s cool little option to send e-cards!
If I’d done some real planning, I would have hunted down a red/white striped footie-pjs to pair with the book.
*a line reminiscent of Nancy Tillman books of the same genre. I’m pleased to have word-choice and image aesthetic options in these books.