I appreciate a good metaphor. I really appreciate an entire book full of them. But I lurrrrve a quirkily illustrated book full of them that makes me smile as I page through AND makes my heart go all melty at the end. Oh, and it rhymes, too!
No wonder I fell hard for Rebecca Doughty’s BEFORE YOU.
Title-page summary: “Celebrates how the love of another can change one’s life for the better.”
The book starts out with a section of often-humorous metaphors describing life before “you.”
“I was a flower with no pot.
I was a polka with no dot.”
The polka page shows happy animal duos dancing the polka far across a room (accompanied by a pig playing an accordion), and in the foreground, we see the back of another pig, standing alone and forlorn. Ms. Doughty’s art is deceptively simple, but boy, does she have a way with body language and facial expressions! Too funny (and sometimes pathetic, but in a cute and funny way).
So we meet a diverse cast of characters, animals and inanimate objects alike, all of whom represent the “before you” portion of the book.
Then the tone changes with this line: “Then you arrived and changed the tune.” From here on, we get metaphors describing how life has changed, like:
“You put the splash into the puddle.
You put the squeeze into the cuddle.”
You (may) know how I hate giving away an ending, but in this case I have to, because it’s what had me hugging this book as I walked it to the bookstore’s cash register. First, the setting: A bird on a branch, cheek to cheek with her little one.
“Now I’m a bird and you’re my song.
So tell me now …
…what took you so long?
This book could represent romantic love, friendship, or the love of a parent for their child. I think it would be a lovely baby shower gift, which is why I’m ordering more.
And, teachers? This would be a great book to introduce kids to metaphors. 🙂