Anyone picking up Where You Came From expecting a scientifically solemn and medically correct account of the facts of life for pre-schoolers is in for a surprise. In this, a follow-up to Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad’s previous collaboration, When You Were Small, Mother and Father offer alternate replies to Henry’s recurring question, “Where did I come from?” Their fanciful responses touch delicately on many different baby myths, from the infant found in the bulrushes to delivery by fairies or a flock of crows (on a day the stork called in sick), from growing in the garden and falling from a star or spaceship to being carved from wood like Pinocchio. Each whimsical answer is given fondly, and many are quite funny. Lest an anxious adult reader feel that the child is being misled by fantasy, each playful account is contradicted by the other parent with an equally comical alternative, until at last the parents agree: “Your mother and I both dreamt you. And then you came true.... First there were two of us and then we were three.” Sara O’Leary has a supple style which conveys the fondness in the parents’ teasing, and rises to a moment of real poetry at the end. Her text is well matched with the gentle-coloured line drawings of Julie Morstad, which show baby Henry confidently beginning life in various absurd situations – even peering out of a mailbox, or balanced on top of tins of food on sale in the supermarket – innocent and ready to greet the world.
<B>Sara O'Leary</B> is the co-creator with Julie Morstad of the Henry series: <I>When You Were Small, Where You Came From</I> and, most recently, <I>When I Was Small </I>(Simply Read Books). She has worked as a literary columnist and is also a playwright and fiction writer. A graduate of the UBC Masters program, she has taught Writing for Children and Screenwriting at Concordia University in Montreal. She is currently living in a house by the sea in a small village in New Brunswick and working on a novel. <B>Julie Morstad</B> is an award-winning illustrator and fine artist known for her surreal, whimsical work. Julie has exhibited her work in galleries, animated two music videos with her brother, and filled up stacks of sketchbooks. She lives in Vancouver with her family.