I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You (Kate Ritchie, illus by Hannah Sommerville, Random House)
This warm-hearted picture book from former Home and Away actor Kate Ritchie captures the anticipation of pregnancy and all the fun of preparing for the new baby. With a text that speaks directly to the child, the book starts with the mother dreaming of her baby, wondering whether it will be a boy or girl. What follows takes the reader through the milestones of becoming a parent. The illustrations add domestic details, depicting the family’s many preparations for the new arrival. Soft, warm watercolours reflect the gentle spirit of the text, and the pages are broken up with descriptive vignettes as well as larger pictures. There is a particularly whimsical page of bubble shaped vignettes that look like they are floating from the page. Ritchie’s text conveys an all-embracing, loving feeling towards the new baby, and the illustrations ground it in more specific detail. There are a few stand-out books dealing with the subject of a new baby’s arrival in a very competitive part of the market. While this offering perhaps isn’t one of them, it is still a very genuine book that would be great to read aloud to an infant or an older child expecting a sibling.
Louise Pfanner is an author, illustrator and bookseller