Little One, We Knew You’d Come – Sally Lloyd-Jones & Eve Tharlet

Little One, We Knew You'd Come by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Eve Tharlet
Also by this author: Near: Psalm 139, Known: Psalm 139, Happy: A Song of Joy and Thanks for Little Ones, Based on Psalm 92, Strong: Psalm 1
Published by Zonderkidz on March 1, 2022
Genres: Children's
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From New York Times bestselling children’s book author Sally Lloyd-Jones, Little One, We Knew You’d Come is a heartwarming and endearing story about the hope and anticipation of a new baby. Overflowing with joy, this book makes the perfect gift for a new baby, baptism, adoption, new beginning, or special occasion.
Little one, we knew you’d come.
We hoped. We dreamed. We watched for you.
We counted the days till you were due.
We waited. How we longed for you,
And the day that you were born.

Little One, We Knew You’d Come includes:
Engaging illustrations and delightful, lyrical textA beautiful message for parents and grandparents to read aloud to their children again and againA joyful story that celebrates new life and the love we have for our little ones even before their arrivalOther books you might enjoy from bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones:
The Jesus Storybook BibleThe Jesus Storybook Bible Christmas Collection Song of the StarsBunny’s First SpringAnd more!

Originally published in 2006 with publisher Little, Brown as a Christmas story, Little One, We Knew You’d Come has been repackaged and repurposed by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Zonderkidz to tell a more general story of the arrival of any baby. I mention this from the outset, because if you are familiar with that now out-of-print version, you’re not going to get the same thing from this updated version.

The original version has panels illustrated by Jackie Morris that follow the Christmas story, as if Mary and Joseph (and by extension the whole world) are speaking the words of the book to Jesus. It begins with Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem and ends with a panel featuring a baby Jesus sucking his thumb while in the arms of Mary.

This version, published in 2022 and illustrated by Eve Tharlet, follows an anthropomorphic Bear family as they go through the process of pregnancy and birth. So, you know, not the same. It’s really quite interesting how malleable Sally Lloyd-Jones’s text is and shows the power of illustrations to provide interpretation in children’s literature. The text is not changed one bit, perhaps indicating that Lloyd-Jones was thematically highlighting both the humanness and divineness at work in Christ’s birth.

Little One, We Knew You’d Come is a story about welcoming new life. One panel reads “We hoped. We dreamed. We watched for you. We counted the days till you were due. We waited. How we longed for you, And the day that you were born.” Lloyd-Jones’s poetry is more artistic that you typically see in children’s literature, perhaps reflecting the more general audience of the original. Some of the text’s idiosyncrasies definitely make more sense for storytelling purposes knowing the original context, but still create a certain drama that unfolds well in the modern illustrations.

This would be a cute book to read to young children who are expecting a younger sibling, or a child who is beginning to ask questions about their own origin. However, if you’re expecting a story about Jesus, you’ll be sorely disappointed.