From "The Forward"

EAST VILLAGE MAMELE: The Best Children's Books of the Year

December 30, 2005

"Before You Were Born" by Howard Schwartz, illustrated by Kristina Swarner (Roaring Brook Press). Doesn't every child love to hear stories about "before I was born"? This book retells the midrash of babies in the womb knowing all the secrets of the universe, then being touched on the upper lip by an angel just before birth and forgetting everything they once knew. Josie loves the story, retold by a Jewish folklorist and literature professor, as well as the dreamy art, made with linoleum printing, watercolor, gouache and colored pencil. For kids who (like Josie) aren't yet asking where babies really come from and kids who are older and comfortable with metaphor, "Before You Were Born" is just beautiful.