Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guarded All Our Lives

Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman with pictures by Ben Hatke

I foolishly did not believe all the reviews I'd read of this wonderful book and am so glad I finally decided to read it myself. The story follows one little baby in the womb until birth (and a bit after). The baby converses with the angel, learning a bit about life and the world to come. The angel is depicted as a group of stars, which is not only beautiful, but gave me an opportunity to talk to the children a bit about how we don't know what angels look like, since they do not have bodies (though they can appear to people in certain situations). In fact, I think all the illustrations are lovely.

The angel, present from the very beginning of life, promises to be with the child always. The baby says, "I don't like this world. It is too cold. It is too big." The angel replies:

It is very big, but you will grow big. It will feel better and warmer which you are bigger. But there is another, bigger world outside this one. Someday I will take you there.

Such a wonderful way to think of our journey to the next life, in the care of our guardian angel.

This book is, of course, promoted widely as a pro-life book, which it is inasmuch as it portrays a baby's thoughts from conception. It is more than that, though; it is a lovely book all on its own. It would be a wonderful book to share with older siblings as they anticipate the birth of a new baby brother or sister (especially as the baby is never identified as a boy or a girl). We read the book in honor of Respect Life Month (not that I mentioned that to the kids). I think it could be a good book for the Feast of the Guardian Angels as well, conveniently also in October.

First Son and First Daughter were both enthralled, and we talked about how they grew in Mama's tummy, just like this baby. And they also have an angel all their own.

For those that may be concerned, the birth itself is not depicted, just as a time of "moving." The few pages after the birth also give an opportunity to talk about why newborn babies cry when they are cold or alone.

I love the very last picture, as baby, who has grown, is toddling along, holding onto father's hand.

1 comment:

  1. We got this book as a gift when our first was a baby and it is now literally held together with packing tape! It is also good for those little ones who don't have the patience to listen to so many words because you can just look at the pictures and they tell the story. This reminds me that I need to dig ours out now that we are expecting. The kids will love talking about it as "our" baby.


Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!