Published August 2nd 2016 by Nancy Paulsen Books
This is the Baby, born today.
A baby’s birth is always cause for celebration, and this baby elephant’s family welcomes their new little one with gusto. Basking in its mother’s love, the newborn’s arrival is announced to the world by its trumpeting herd. It is doted on by adoring aunts and bathed in a cool lagoon with curious cousins. Under the shade of the ancient banyan trees, the rest of the forest comes alive to revel in the new arrival, and all in all, it is a truly joyous day when this majestic creature begins its life on earth. Finally, the cherished baby, safe under the smiling moon and sparkling stars, drifts contentedly to sleep.
In This is Our Baby, Born Today, Bajaj tells a beautiful, musical tale of a young baby elephant who has brought into the world. Family members and the world around them celebrates the new born's arrival, and Bajaj shares the genuine joy of new life.
Readers wil absolutely appreciate Bajaj's emphasis on the different celebratory aspects of a new elephant's birth, including the doting by its parents, family and neighbors. Her melodic sentences and pacing will invoke reminders of the opening scenes from The Lion King, and younger readers especially will appreciate how diverse and welcoming the new baby elephant's world can be.
Bajaj also includes a note in the back of the book, sharing some additional importance on elephants to her family. It's a warm-hearted reminder at the traditions of family and how many generations can be brought together, and it makes the overall reading experience even richer than it already was.
Bajaj's story is bolstered by Eliza Wheeler's gorgeous illustrations. With a combination of line drawings, watercolors and a warm palate, this book ends up feeling a bit like a warm hug while reading.
About the author & illustrator:
Varsha Bajaj grew up in a rambling house in Mumbai, India, surrounded by coconut, guava and beetle nut trees. When she came to the US to obtain her Masters degree, her adjustment to the country was aided by her awareness of the culture through books. She has written two previous picture books, as well as the middle grade novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood, which was shortlisted for the Cybils Award and included in the Spirit of Texas Reading Program.
Eliza Wheeler wrote and illustrated the New York Times Bestselling Miss Maple's Seeds. She grew up in Northern Wisconsin in a family of teachers, musicians, and artists. Some of the strongest influences on her creativity have been the wild Wisconsin seasons, canoeing the Brule River, picking blueberries with her grandmother, and digging through the snow with her brothers.