We know our children are special, and now the incomparable Nancy Tillman expresses this universal feeling in the most touching of ways: Every child is born with a crown. The crown is everything that gives us unique value. Our crown will always be with us wherever we go, whatever we do.
Tillman (On the Night You Were Born) continues her project of nurturing children's self-esteem, creating a cascade of dreamlike spreads to accompany verses assuring them that "he world is a wonderland waiting for you." Her familiar brand of atmospheric, digitally created images show children who wear crowns "made up of sparkling, glimmering things/ like moonlight and fireflies, and dragonfly wings." These children are not the only ones who wear a crown; every child has one, Tillman explains: "No one's is brighter, no one's is duller./ It's only a crown of a different color." Tillman's montages begin with an infant and toddlers, before showing older children perching in a tree house, riding a cheetah, leaping with gazelles, and wearing a cape made of butterflies that come to life and flitter away. There's something magical about the idea of intimacy with wild animals; spreads in which Tillman imagines such interactions, like the cover image of the child asleep astride a zebra, have special power, especially as they're rendered with photograph-like verisimilitude. Tillman's affirmations will please her loyal audience: "Blink three times and... there you are!/ You are twinkling, little star!" Ages 4-8.