You Nest Here With Me

You Nest Here With Me

By Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple                    Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Published by Boyds Mills Press in 2015

You NestYou Nest Here With Me
is a quiet book. A bedtime book, true.  But it makes me want to jump up and down and shout, “I want to write a book like that!”

Mom is tucking her child in at night. They are reading about birds, their nests and their nestlings. Mom goes through a string of birds—some familiar, some not. Every few pages she reminds her child, “You nest here with me.”

Sounds simple, right? Here are some reasons why I think this book is incredible–not simple–in the world of picture books:

  • I’m infatuated with birds, and I delight in sharing that infatuation with my grandchildren.IMG_1876
  • Sweet’s illustrations are beautiful and engaging. They contain many elements of the natural world not mentioned in the text. This gives both the adult and child plenty to look at and discuss. Builds language and social skills.
  • The couplets rhyme effortlessly. (Or so it appears—those of us who write picture books know how much effort goes into anything that appears effortless.)
  • The end matter invites children to search through the book for specific birds, and offers interesting facts about each bird mentioned in the story.
  • I learned some new words in the rhyming text! I had to look them up in my dusty old dictionary, and I love that. If I learned three new words then the children reading You Nest Here With Me will probably learn some new words, too. More language skills!
  • I now know it is okay for me (writer Jean) to use a few uncommon words in my picture book manuscripts, too.



If Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi can do it, why not me, too?





Author: Jean Matthew Hall

I'm in a new phase of my life. And I'm enjoying the journey and the challenges that go with it. I love being Mama, Meme, writer, friend, sister and encourager. I pray that in all of these roles I show Jesus to the people around me.

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