Welcome to Cantastic Authorpalooza, featuring posts by and about great Canadian children’s book creators! Today’s guest: Aimee Reid. Take it away, Aimee!
I remember the months of waiting for my first child to be born as both a thrilling and vulnerable time.
As is my tendency when encountering change, I prepared and planned as much as I could. I followed developmental milestones with The Pregnancy Journal, and made note of my experiences. My shakiness and exhaustion were made somewhat easier to bear because I knew how my body was growing the baby inside me.
My friend loaned me books on early childhood. I filled the freezer with package after package of prepared meals until my husband gently informed me that we simply had no more room.
One morning, five weeks before my due date, my husband found me in the nursery at 5:30 a.m., attempting to stretch sheets over the crib mattress so that everything would be ready in case the baby came early. He gently ushered me back to bed. I had done all I could, and now I just had to wait.
Wait I did. My due date came and went. I tidied and re-tidied and baked and tried to make the time pass. This part of my gestation was a keenly-felt reminder that much about parenting would be out of my hands.
Nine days later, after a longer labour than expected, I finally saw my baby’s face. What an unforgettable moment! Our baby was here, and our family’s journey together had begun.
I have often mused on the similarities between birthing a baby and birthing a book. First glimpsing the illustrations for my picture books is a little like seeing my baby’s face for the first time. As I take my first peek, I feel a swell of tenderness and pride and think, “Oh! It’s you! Hello, you.” The day of a book’s release feels like sending a child off to the first day of school. I take a deep breath and wish my book well, hoping it finds its readers.
I am writing this post on the birthday for my newest picture book, A World of Love. It releases today from Nancy Paulsen Books at Penguin Random House. Joyful and touching illustrations by Chris Lyles bring the emotion of the text to vibrant life.
Today I’m recalling the beginning of A World of Love, which came to me in the form of a line that began running through my head: “If all the world were forests green / and you were in the nest . . . .” From that spark, I wrote a lyrical reflection on the many ways that animals care for their young. Doves coo, dolphins call to their babies, and mountain goats shield their kids from falls. The final scene shows a human parent celebrating the enduring nature of love for her child.
The tenderness and care portrayed in the book is shown day after day the world over. I hope that all who read A World of Love will be reminded of how we are connected. Each loving act matters more than we know.
This book has come a long way from my first jotted notes. Just as a parent needs a community, I’m grateful for everyone who played a part in its journey. We have nurtured it with care and now we release it into the world, hoping that it finds its way to you! May you experience some beauty in your world today.
You can find A World of Love here: A World of Love by Aimee Elizabeth Reid: 9781524739812 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Find Aimee at www.aimeereidbooks.com
Instagram, Threads, X, Facebook: @aimeereidbooks
Visit Chris Lyles at Chris Lyles Designs – Illustrator