BEFORE THE WORLD WAKES
By: Estelle Laure
Illustrated by: Paola Zakimi
Published: April 1, 2022
Publisher: Two Lions
For some kids, their favorite part of the day is arriving at school, the hum of all the kids talking, and seeing all their friends and teachers in the classes. But, for other kids, this is overstimulating and not a good way to start the day.
A brother and sister prefer the quiet moments of the day, especially those moments when most of the world is still asleep. These young siblings slip outside just as the stars are going to sleep and the sun is starting to rise. They greet the snails and the birds and the flowers.
I assume these children are walking around their own yard. They aren’t sneaking out to walk around the city or far away. One of the illustrations shows their mom in the window. So, even though sneaking out in the early morning hours isn’t recommended, I can see where there is a boundary that they can explore. As a parent reading this to your child, you might be able to explain that depending on where you live, this might not be appropriate. But, if they are interested in exploring those early morning hours, you can show them the eastern sky to watch for the sunrise.
The illustrations are soft and remind me of a coloring book. The siblings love to explore together, keeping their observations close to themselves like a snail dancing or the birds’ morning songs. This book will remind kids to look for the quiet moments in their day, for the things that others may miss like a flower blooming. There is beauty during those early morning quiet hours and relishing in those moments can be a great way to start your day.
Estelle Laure is the author of six young adult novels, including This Raging Light, Mayhem, Remember Me, and the City of Villains series, and the picture book The Perfect Pet for You, illustrated by Amy Hevron. She lives with her family in New Mexico, where you can often find her walking the dogs and watching the sunrise before the world wakes. For more about Estelle, visit www.estellelaure.com.
Paola Zakimi is the illustrator of Secrets I Know by Kallie George, Teddy & Co. by Cynthia Voigt, The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains by Annie Silvestro, and Ruby’s Sword by Jacqueline Viessid. She is also a dollmaker and fine artist and lives in Argentina. Her favorite part of the early morning is listening to the buzz of the bees while the sun comes out all bright and beautiful. You can learn more about her at www.paolazakimi.com.