Sometimes It's Storks by L.J.R. Kelly, illustrated by the Brothers Hilts

Sometimes It's Storks is the completely enchanting, rhyming origin story written  by L.J.R. Kelly and magnificently illustrated by The Brothers Hilts. If you love stories, you just might be a bit of a storyteller as well. If it's a good story, everyone loves to hear and tell the story of the day they were born. If it's not a good story, or just not very exciting, then embellishment and playfulness is definitely called for. L.J.R. Kelly brings fantastic embellishment and playfulness to Sometimes It's Storks. With their illustrations, the Brothers Hilts match this energy in unconventional and unforgettable ways.

Sometimes It's Storks begins, 

Babies arrive by different means,
on rickshaws, beasts or submarines,
and some, indeed do come by wing -
a bundle of baby, blanket and string.

This baby came by (easily distracted) stork, and the adventure begins. Kelly's rhymes his way through a "thieving croc," a bargaining whale who likes ginger ale, a polar bear, a lady moose and a migrating goose. For starters.

The baby then makes his or her (one of the many marvelous things about Sometimes It's the Stork is the singular use of "you," when referring to the baby and the illustrations that allow for personal interpretation of gender) way to Australia where a kangaroo loses "you at the Brisbane Zoo." The monkeys keep the baby for "half a season,"

Then, seeing the tag upon your knee, 
they finally saw you belonged to me.
So they sent you here in parcel post
(flown in via the Ivory Coast).

The final two page spread ends with a joyous embrace and a mysterious feather, bringing the story full circle. Sometimes It's the Stork is a book about becoming a family, for all families. The final page with copyright information shows the silhouette of a house, a sleepy stork resting against the chimney. With a style that calls to mind Jon Klassen, Eric Carle and so many of the great European kid's books illustrators, the Brothers Hilt are definitely on my watch list.

Source: Review Copy

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