When I Hold You – Ashley Huffstutler and Airin O’Callaghan

When I Hold You Ashley Huffstutler (1)
When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler, Airin O'Callaghan
Published by B&H Kids on May 4, 2021
Genres: Children's
Buy on Amazon

Where does a mother's love come from? Ashley Huffstutler shows us it comes directly from the heart of God. When I Hold You is a gentle and celebratory poem that draws the comparison between a mother's tender love for her children and God's nurturing love for us.     A perfect gift for any new or existing mother, When I Hold You captures the universal experience of the mother-child bond. As young readers, ages 0-4, listen to the rhyme and see the diverse illustrations, they will better understand how God reveals His love to us through our relationships with one another. With Scriptures woven throughout every image, both mother and child will be encouraged to worship the God whose love lasts forever! 

This board book features gentle art and simple, rhyming lines of text that celebrate a mother’s bond with her child. Each page spread features a different mother with her baby, and the illustrations represent people from different ethnic backgrounds. I enjoyed the diversity and beautiful art, and the pages all have scrolling text from a meaningful Bible verse along with Ashley Huffstutler’s text. The design is visually appealing and easy to read, and the illustrations from Airin O’Callaghan feature both breathtaking nature scenes and daily routines in a home environment.

When I Hold You combines emotions about motherhood with a deep sense of divine connection, showing how maternal love can connect women to God’s love and make them more aware of His presence in their everyday life. Christian women will enjoy this book’s artistic excellence and sweet message, and the book is also general enough to appeal to mothers who are spiritually open, but not professing Christians. The book and the Bible verses quoted in it focus on God’s presence and love in a way that can invite people’s interest and deeper pondering, without assuming an existing level of knowledge or full faith commitment.

This would make a lovely baby gift. It is a great option for Christian women, especially those of ethnic backgrounds who do not often see themselves represented in Christian books about motherhood, and because of the book’s elements of general appeal, it would also be a great gift for a spiritual seeker, or for a woman whose journey to motherhood has made her more open to thinking about God. I would recommend this lovely book to a variety of audiences, and even though there are always lots of mother-and-child books on the market, When I Hold You has the potential for lasting appeal.