Written and Illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin
Random House, 2015
When I look at you
And you look at me,
I wonder what wonderful
Things you will be.
The plot in a nutshell: A parents thinks about their child’s future.
A mother walks hand in hand with her daughter and wonders what life has in store for her. A father holds his young child and thinks of how special he is. The parents note that their child is kind and smart and that there has never been a child exactly like theirs. Perhaps their child will bravely save the day or make music that no one else has ever made. Maybe they will write a new story or grow plants or flowers. Their child may fly or be a caregiver for people or animals. Or they might just be kind and smart and brave, with a heart that will continue to grow as they grow. The possibilities are limitless, as their child will explore all the world has to offer and the parents will love their child, no matter who or what they grow into.
Author/illustrator Emily Winfield Martin has created a beautiful book that taps into an experience that every parent has had, in those moments when you look at your child and try to imagine what their future holds. It’s easy to look at every preference, skill and behavior as an indicator, but it’s pretty rare that you can predict much from those things. The important thing, as Ms. Winfield Martin points out, is that your child feels supported and loved, so that they are encouraged to follow their hearts and reach their full potential. I think that’s the underlying message in this book to both kids and parents and it’s beautifully expressed here.
The artwork is beautiful, with a vintage vibe that I adore. I want to buy a copy of this book just for the purpose of making paper dolls from these children, as that’s what immediately springs to mind when I look at them. (I was not surprised to see that Ms. Winfield Martin has published a book of paper dolls and other paper crafts.) Near the end of the book, there’s a double page fold-out showing a line of children in costumes, living out their dreams. There is a lovely diversity in all the families represented, so you can expect to see children of different races, genders and even ages, as some pictures depict older children (which I love). My kids are all adults and I still look at them sometimes with wonder and imagine what awaits them in the future.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that every child’s future is brighter with a parent who loves, supports and encourages them.