Books Contours of Love Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

Celebration of Being Cherished and Loved in Nancy Tillman’s Picturebooks

Nancy Tillman's Message of Love in Picturebooks

Myra here.

I’ve always enjoyed Nancy Tillman’s picturebooks and the overarching, very simple message found at the end of each story: “You are loved.” I was very pleased, then, to discover three new-to-me titles as I was searching for picturebooks about love in our library shelves.


On The Night You Were Born

Written and Illustrated By Nancy Tillman
Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2006
ISBN: 0312346069 (ISBN13: 9780312346065)Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This is the perfect picturebook to give to a parent who has just given birth, or a parent’s gift to a newborn child – to be read again and again to the new addition in the family.

Shades of blue predominate throughout this stunningly illustrated picturebook, with glittering stars sprinkled in the pages.

And as per usual, the celebration is shared by polar bears, geese flying home, and even ladybugs, and the sound of the wind echoing songs of love.


You And Me And The Wishing Tree

Written and Illustrated By Nancy Tillman
Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2016
ISBN: 1250056292 (ISBN13: 9781250056290)Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This picturebook celebrates the fervent wishes sent flying into a magical brimming red wishing tree.

Nothing is impossible in the child’s wish – the sky’s the limit, as one’s imagination is encouraged to soar free.

If you are looking for a picturebook that is magical, precious, and lyrical – this is it and more. Regardless of the repeated message of love, I don’t find Nancy Tillman’s picturebooks sappy in the least.

More than anything, I feel we need more of these messages of love. As expected, the last page – as the child asks his mother whether she got her wish – was aww-inducing.


You’re Here For A Reason

Written and Illustrated By Nancy Tillman
Published by Feiwel & Friends, 2015
ISBN: 1250056268 (ISBN13: 9781250056269)Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Unlike the first two picturebooks which celebrate the devotion between parent and child, this one touches on the ripples of kindness that travel over rooftops, snow – fluttering and floating and “making things happen all over the world.”

I also love how multicultural the images of the children are – yet they never seemed forced but incidental. The prevailing message here is one of certainty and assurance: “you are here for a reason…”

… and that there is meaning to one’s existence. There is the deep sense of gratitude that the child is born and is part of the world. Find these three picturebooks and read it out loud with your little ones and bask in the overflowing message of love and devotion.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: Nancy Tillman lives in Oregon, USA.

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