New York Times Bestseller

2017 Christopher Award Winner

Baby Wren and the Great Gift

because each little one is special

by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jen Corace

Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a joyful celebration of the unique and wonderful gifts each of us has been given. A tiny baby wren looks on the beautiful world–the splashing fish, the soaring eagles, the diving kingfishers, the climbing ring-tailed cats, at all the incredible creatures around her, and is filled with wonder. But she is only small. And after all, what can Baby Wren do that is wonderful? Baby Wren and the Great Gift features beautiful illustrations by the talented Jen Corace, illustrator of 2014’s celebrated Telephone, and poetic prose by Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of the New York Times Bestselling How to be a Baby: by Me the Big Sister and the widely acclaimed Jesus Storybook Bible.

Awards for Baby Wren and the Great Gift

christopher award


Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a lovely way to both share the joys of the natural world with young children and also talk about how each person is unique.” –BookPage

The lyrical text uses rich, poetic imagery along with judicious repetition to create a memorable setting for the little bird’s exploratory journey…” – Kirkus Reviews

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“Sally Lloyd-Jones, a leading author of inspirational and Christian books for children, teams up with acclaimed illustrator Jen Corace in this attractive picture book about a little wren searching for her own unique gifts.

Corace’s bright, inquisitive wren will be especially appealing to young children just venturing into new settings. Like a young child, Baby Wren is curious about her surroundings, but also uncertain just how she fits in and what she can do. After all, when you’re just a little wren, it seems that everyone else is a lot more accomplished. As Baby Wren watches a kingfisher skillfully spear dinner, she stands on the shore and asks, “Why aren’t I a kingfisher. . . . So I could fish, too?” She meets other creatures: cartwheeling, ring-tailed cats; bright, swimming sunfish; and majestic eagles wheeling high in a stormy sky. It’s not easy being a tiny wren sometimes! When the sun paints her canyon home a glorious pink, the little wren discovers that she does possess a special gift all her own. She bursts out into joyful song: “And her bright carol reached down to the river and leaped off the cliff walls and soared into the sky.” Somehow, one tiny wren has filled the air with singing. Inspired by a Martin Luther quotation, “As long as we live, there is never enough singing,” and graced by Corace’s child-friendly illustrations, Baby Wren and the Great Gift is a lovely way to both share the joys of the natural world with young children and also talk about how each person is unique.”–BookPage

“The natural glories of a canyon are on full display as a newborn wren tries to understand her place in the world. No parents are around, so the wren takes in her surroundings; Lloyd-Jones (The House That’s Your Home) repeatedly references “monarchs in the milkweed,” rustling switch grass, and a “glittering river” below. Several animals are nearby, and the wren wishes it could dive like a kingfisher, cartwheel like ring-tailed cats, or brave a storm like two eagles. In the end, the wren’s ability to bear witness to the beauty around her (“what she saw couldn’t fit inside her / it bumped into her heart / it dazzled in her eyes / it pushed on her throat”) and to convert that appreciation into a praise-song of gratitude reveals that she is exactly who she ought to be. Lovely, precise detail characterizes Corace’s (Telephone) watercolor-and-pencil portraits of the animals and their habitat; her pale pink skies, craggy golden canyon walls, and wispy grasses make it easy to understand why the wren is moved to sing.”–Publisher’s Weekly

“A little bird explores her environment, meeting other creatures with special talents before discovering her own. The baby wren is first seen alone in her nest, but she soon hops out and meets other birds, animals, and fish. To the tiny bird, the soaring kingfisher and eagles, splashing sunfish, and cartwheeling ring-tailed cats are amazing and accomplished, doing spectacular things that astonish a naïve little bird. In classic find-your-own-talent fashion, the baby wren is then so inspired by a glowing, pink sunrise that she is moved to sing her own song, which can be heard all over the canyon. The lyrical text uses rich, poetic imagery along with judicious repetition to create a memorable setting for the little bird’s exploratory journey. A large format and double-page-spread illustrations in jewel tones make the canyon setting appealing, though the bird is sometimes dwarfed by the expansive vistas. When the baby wren finds her own voice, she offers a big, open-ended thank you for everything in her world. There is no overt religious content in the text, though there is a short quotation on the front cover flap referring to prayer and a brief quote on the back cover flap from Martin Luther about the power of song. An attractive visual presentation complements an engaging text for a fresh interpretation of an old theme. –Kirkus Reviews

Winner: Books for Young People

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Baby Wren bookmark circle

Baby Wren and the Great Gift bookmark

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Gratitude Letter

Baby Wren bookmark circle

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Sample spread

Baby Wren and the Great Gift sample spread

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