Reading books to my children is my absolute favorite part of our day. Every evening and most rainy days, my two youngest children and I cuddle up on the couch and together we read stories. Our collection is ever growing and I am always delighted to find a book that I am genuinely excited to add to our shelf. Their current ages are three and five so we spend a great deal of time enjoying picture books. We received our copy of “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” by Emily Winfield Martin as a birthday gift. This quickly became our favorite picture book and here is why….Illustrations:Before even beginning the story, I fell in love with the whimsical illustrations. The pictures are so unique, soft, precious and warm. I found myself so captivated by the magical images on each page that I paused long after the words were read to absorb the beauty and detail. The children in the story are drawn with such care and each one is so individual and incredible. It’s almost too wonderful to keep on the bookshelf and deserves to be framed and hung on the wall.Originality:As I said before, we spend a significant amount of time reading in our family and it’s always a treat to find something completely new and original to add to our collection. Emily Winfield Martin has blessed us with just that. “The Wonderful Things You Will Be” stands out in a category of its own by combining outstanding, one of a kind artistic beauty with an encouraging and heartwarming message. There isn’t another book on our shelf that compares. Her style is truly her own and greets readers with an individual experience they will want to reread over and over again.Message:The message of the tale is in the voice of a parent to their child. It starts with the parent wondering aloud about who their young child will grow up to be. From the very beginning, it portrays a strong message that, as a parent, they are certain that their child is someone they want to know. Other children’s books do a great job of reassuring love between a parent and child but this adds another beautiful element to that message. Not only does it affirm that the parent will love the child, whoever they grow up to be, but it puts a great deal of excitement on all of the possible ways they can become their very own person. It encourages adventure, taking care of others, individuality, wholesome character traits and creativity. It says to go be everything you were created to be and I will love you with wonder and admiration. What a powerful and uplifting message to children of any age. Heck, what a powerful message for adults!Story Flow:When reading aloud, it is always enjoyable to be able to read a story with a steady, easy to follow flow. This story is laid out in a comfortable progression of rhyming phrases without being sing-songy. Each page contains a small amount of script while the captivating illustrations tell the story right along with the the written word. The language is vivid, fun and adds character and creativity to this wonderful story.It Doesn’t Get Old: I like Dr. Suess and admire his work, however, I can only read the tongue twisting silliness so many times before my head starts spinning. How refreshing to have a story that you and your children can enjoy over and over again. My kids have their favorite stories to listen to that aren’t always my favorites to read repeatedly. It’s a blessing to have this book as a family favorite. Each time I turn the page the kids point to the children in the illustrations and pick which one they want to be. It’s an easy choice and enjoyable for all us.“The Wonderful Things You Will Be” has become my go to baby shower gift. The last mom-to-be I gifted it to admitted to crying the first time she read it. Perhaps it was just the hormones, but I venture to say that she truly appreciated the beauty and sincerity of this wonderful book. Your family library is not complete without this gem. This is a story book I cherish and long to share with every other child I hold dear.