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Posted & filed under Children's Book Reviews

In You Are One, author Sara O’Leary and illustrator Karen Klassen celebrate common first-year milestones and a caregivers’ love for their growing child. This is the first hardcover picture book in the You Are series, with You are Two and You are Three set for publication in the upcoming year.

Sara O’Leary has co-created several books with Julie Morstad, including This Is Sadie, When I Was Small, Where You Came From, and When You Were Small. In You Are One, she recounts a number of milestones from the point of view of the caregiver, including how the child is now on the move, can hide and find objects, and can joyfully clap their hands. Her use of you and your give the book a very personal, intimate feel, for example, “When you want to be held, you lift up your arms.”

Further strengthening this book’s charm is Calgary-based Karen Klassen’s artwork. This award-winning freelance illustrator and painter specializes in fashion, lifestyle, and portrait illustration, and her patterned paintings intermingle portraits of diverse babies with more abstract representations of objects, like toys and food. Babies respond well to faces and expressions, and she has filled this book with them.

You Are One is most suited as a gift book. A “This book belongs to” page invites a memorable inscription to mark a first-year celebration of discovery, growth, and love.

  • You Are One

    By Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Karen Klassen, Published by Owlkids Books
    • ISBN 13: 978-1-77147-072-8
Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.