Books & Literature

Book Review: Welcome, Child! by Sally Morgan

PICTURE BOOK: Welcome, child! is Sally Morgan’s beautiful and heartfelt celebration of the love we feel for a new child.

A simple board book to celebrate the birth of a new baby.

Sally Morgan is an award-winning Australian Aboriginal author, dramatist and artist. She belongs to the Palyku people from the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia. Sally Morgan is best known for her book, My Place, which sold over half a million copies.

Welcome, Child! is a board book that celebrates the birth of a new child and the love the family feels at the birth of this new addition. Sally wrote Welcome, Child! after the birth of her new grandchild.

Welcome, Child! is a simple book with few words. The illustrations are bright and colourful, done in an almost childlike style. Stars, birds, flowers, hearts and a huge sun decorate the pages, each celebrating the birth with a particular feeling: joy, happiness, delight. 

As the adult is reading, you could even make up actions to go with the words, making the experience even more engaging for the child. The colours of the text and illustrations could be points of discussion. There are also birds, hearts, flowers and stars to count. 

Welcome, Child! is charming as a first book for a baby but may not be more than a once-off read due to its short text. There are many books published for very young children and they need to really stand out to become a favourite.

In our multicultural society, it is important for all children to be represented in literature. It is always pleasing to see characters of all languages, skin colours, religions, socio-economic groups, cultures and family backgrounds appear in the stories we read, particularly those from minority groups and those who have been historically under-represented. Sally has drawn upon her Aboriginal heritage by making the new baby a child of colour.

Welcome, Child! would make a nice gift for any newborn. It is robust, colourful and full of love. 

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Magabala Books
Released: 1 March 2021
RRP: $12.99

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