Monday, September 20, 2021

Book Review: "Angel in the Waters"

Here at Secular Pro-Life, we love children's books about pregnancy, prenatal development, and pro-life values! We've previously reviewed When You Became YouPro-Life Kids, and I Can Hear Music. Today, we turn our attention to Angel in the Waters, a 2005 picture book written by Regina Doman and illustrated by Ben Hatke. 

In my humble opinion, the best thing about Angel in the Waters is, without a doubt, its gorgeous illustrations. I mean, just look at this beautiful first trimester baby! Look at them!!

Hatke's style is reminiscent of the famous Lennart Nilsson photographs, yet unique and child-friendly. Absolutely love it. 

The story is less my personal taste, no offense to Doman. I'm just not a huge fan of works that are told from the perspective of the fetus. I've read too many bad poems which execute that premise poorly. As a literary technique, it's easily pegged by pro-choicers as emotionally manipulative; after all, we can defend a person's right not to be killed while acknowledging that the person does not yet have language. In fairness, though, Angel in the Waters is on the less manipulative end of the spectrum. It does not address abortion directly, and Doman does an admirable job imagining the warmth and comfort of the womb, and the strangeness of entering the outside world, from a baby's point of view.

Although it is published by a Catholic press, this book is not overtly Christian. The "angel" of the title refers to the baby's mother, not a supernatural being. I would be comfortable reading this story to a child without regard to the family's faith background. 

What children's book would you like us to review next? Buy a title from our wish list to help us compile the pro-life youth canon!

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