Sally Lloyd-Jones, a leading author of inspirational and Christian books for children, teams up with acclaimed illustrator Jen Corace in this attractive picture book about a little wren searching for her own unique gifts.
Corace’s bright, inquisitive wren will be especially appealing to young children just venturing into new settings. Like a young child, Baby Wren is curious about her surroundings, but also uncertain just how she fits in and what she can do. After all, when you’re just a little wren, it seems that everyone else is a lot more accomplished.
As Baby Wren watches a kingfisher skillfully spear dinner, she stands on the shore and asks, “Why aren’t I a kingfisher. . . . So I could fish, too?” She meets other creatures: cartwheeling, ring-tailed cats; bright, swimming sunfish; and majestic eagles wheeling high in a stormy sky. It’s not easy being a tiny wren sometimes!
When the sun paints her canyon home a glorious pink, the little wren discovers that she does possess a special gift all her own. She bursts out into joyful song: “And her bright carol reached down to the river and leaped off the cliff walls and soared into the sky.” Somehow, one tiny wren has filled the air with singing.
Inspired by a Martin Luther quotation, “As long as we live, there is never enough singing,” and graced by Corace’s child-friendly illustrations, Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a lovely way to both share the joys of the natural world with young children and also talk about how each person is unique.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is A Bandit's Tale.