cover image On the Day You Were Born

On the Day You Were Born

Debra Frasier. Harcourt Children's Books, $17 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-257995-1

Offering a curious amalgam of the mystical and the scientific, Frasier's first picture book is a paean to nature and to birth. The poetic text explains how the sun, moon, ocean tides, rain, trees, air, animals and people of the world work together to create a welcoming setting for a baby's arrival. Young readers will find Frasier's rhythmic passages soothing, if not always entirely comprehensible: ``On the day you were born the Moon pulled on the ocean below, and, wave by wave, a rising tide washed the beaches clean for your footprints. . . .'' The volume concludes with notes on the natural and technical phenomena mentioned in the text, including animal migration, the rotation of the earth, gravity, stellar constellations and precipitation. Illustrating this unusual book, Frasier's paper collages feature a mostly muted palette of earth tones that is somewhat lacking in child appeal. Though it might spark interesting discussions with an older child, this work will be over the heads of little ones. All ages. (Mar.)