Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Crescendo, where a child is a symphony in composition

Crescendo, by Paola Quintavalle/Illustrated by Alessandro Sanna, (Feb. 2019, Enchanted Lion Books), $19.95, ISBN: 9781592702558

All ages

Written to a growing baby in utero, Crescendo beautifully marks milestones in development with loving observations and illustrations. Each spread reflects on a week of pregnancy, with each month presenting a woman in side view, her body growing to accommodate her baby and forming a landscape upon which birds soar, plants bloom, and horses roam. Beginning with the fifth week of pregnancy: “you are as big as a sesame seed”, the text is beautifully presented as a mother’s thoughts. At week 20, “patterns are drawn on your fingertips for you and you alone”; at week 27, “you cannot see, but you sense the light”. At week 39, “Mother earth is ready to greet you”, and at week 40, mother holds baby and the text reads, “And so am I”.

This is a great baby shower gift, and a lovely book to return to time and again, curled up with your baby and child as they grow, revisiting the magic of “when I lived in your belly”. It’s a beautiful journal of pregnancy and birth, filled with wonder. Back matter that includes a month-by-month breakdown of developmental milestones that inspired the text. The watercolor artwork is almost ethereal, with muted, washed out color that soothes. Originally released in Italy, Crescendo is a book that would make for a cuddly Mommy and Me storytime and would pair nicely with Kate Hosford’s Mama’s Belly and Thrity Umrigar’s When I Carried You in My Belly.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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