When I Carried You In My Belly
The special bond between a mother and her child begins well before the baby is born. But once the baby is born and starts to grow into her own person, traits from both parents begin to show themselves in delightful and humorous ways. When I Carried You in My Belly is a mother's song to her growing daughter, capturing the warmth and magic of the time when her daughter was housed inside her belly. The girl's laugh, her love of music, her sweet disposition, and her carefree attitude can all be traced back to her time in her mother's tummy, when her mother would laugh, sing songs, eat yummy treats, and dance the day away.
Thrity Umrigar's lyrical and playful text are well complemented by Ziyue Chen's soft and delightful illustrations, and together they create a sentimental and insightful book about the special bond between parents and children. With a similar tone to On the Night You Were Born and the spirit of I Loved You Before You Were Born, When I Carried You in My Belly is primed to become a new timeless classic.
R E V I E W S:
"Umrigar’s story celebrates a mother’s love, her daughter’s individuality, and the contributions of extended family."
"[W]ill strike a chord with both new mothers and children, who love to hear about their beginnings. The ending spreads tug heartstrings…. Umrigar's flights of fancy may lead parents and children to ponder their own specific traits and what might have led to them."
"[A] sweet children’s tale full of love."
—Akron Beacon Journal
Kirkus Reviews [read...]
A mother relates how her actions during pregnancy led to her growing daughter’s specific traits.
“When I carried you in my belly, Grandpa baked a chocolate cake each week, and cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles, and lots of love inside. And that is why you became… // the sweetest girl that I know.” Daddy’s plans to play ball resulted in the girl’s becoming a “fearless little sprite,” and her feet “tap in rhythm to the earth today” because her mom danced while pregnant. While these notions of inborn traits are unscientific to say the least, they will strike a chord with both new mothers and children, who love to hear about their beginnings. And the ending spreads tug heartstrings: “I felt your kicks and heartbeats as clearly as my own. And that is why, my baby, now that I no longer carry you in my belly… // I carry you in my heart, each day.” Chen’s seemingly digital illustrations portray an obviously loving family. Mother and daughter are light-brown–skinned brunettes, while dad has darker skin and close-cropped dark hair.
Umrigar’s flights of fancy may lead parents and children to ponder their own specific traits and what might have led to them (and hopefully a discussion of nature and nurture as well). (Picture book. 3-7)
Review Posted Online: March 20th, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2017
Publishers Weekly [read...]
In her first picture book, adult author Umrigar suggests that a mother’s gifts to her child go far beyond genetics. Alternating between scenes of the pregnant mother and her young daughter, Chen’s images exude warmth and intimacy while helping to establish the book’s cause-and-effect structure: “When I carried you in my belly,/ Grandpa baked a chocolate cake each week.... And that is why you became... the sweetest girl that I know.” Umrigar’s story celebrates a mother’s love, her daughter’s individuality, and the contributions of extended family. Ages 4–8.