on 28 April 1999
An exquisitely told and beautifully illustrated story that begins with Sara, enveloped in her parents' love, as she breastfeeds, and ends with Sara's son Sam, surrounded by the same love, as he drinks from his mother's breast. The lavender hues in the illustrations emphasize the light scent of lavender present throughout the story--the reader can almost smell this gentle scent that is symbolic of the depth and warmth of mother's milk and the warmth of the love that pervades the story. The author beautifully demonstrates that breastfeeding is a natural and precious part of life, not to be hidden in bathrooms and bedrooms. But there is more--Sara's life is followed from her birth to her fifth birthday, her graduation from school, her wedding, and the birth of her child. On each occasion family and friends gather to celebrate and bring gifts that are joyfully accepted. But, after these gifts are put away, the best gift is given--parental love that is deep and constant. This is a book for both children and parents. It makes a fine bedtime read-aloud. The brief bibliography of books for breastfeeding moms and the list of breastfeeding organizations adds to the value of the book for new and expectant mothers.
on 16 April 1999
This well-written and charming picture book is not just for kids--parents will love it too. "The Best Gifts" shows breastfeeding as a natural part of family life, but the story of Sara and her parents is about much more than breastfeeding. The reader follows Sara's life from infancy to adulthood via the significant milestones in her life--from coming home from the hospital to birthday parties, graduation, her own wedding, and finally the birth of Sara's son, Sam. Through each vignette, we learn that the best gifts in life are free.
"The Best Gifts" makes a lovely present for new mothers breastfeeding for the first time as well as for older siblings with a new baby in the house.