Songs for our Sons

Songs for our Sons
Ruth Doyle and Ashling Lindsay
Andersen Press

Here’s a rhyming celebration of a newborn child wherein the narrator shares her future hopes for the infant, encouraging the little one, oh so full of potential, to be the very best person possible. “So dance-up your dreams; / sing out your spirit-song / And let the light that’s inside you, / guide you along.’

Whether the baby grows up to be ‘a sequinned sparkler, a kaleidoscopic colour- catcher’ or ‘a … puddle-pouncing, soil-squelching mud sculptor’ …

the hopes are that they will be proud, free and happy, an appreciator of and wonderer at, the natural world, a ‘champion of change … and non-violent fighter.’

One who rejoices in differences and their own uniqueness. All this and more in the hope of building a gentler, brighter world. Something we all wish for, especially right now.

Whether we read Ruth’s entire text as being spoken directly to the new-born, or to us as readers, the message is potent – it’s fine to show your feelings, to cry, follow your heart – and cleverly organised so that it sits within, or alongside, Ashling’s gorgeous scenes of children exploring and making the most of whatever surrounds them, culminating in an enormously uplifting, whimsically portrayed , finale …

Gentle, hopeful and a perfect book to give a newborn, at a naming ceremony, or as a present at any time throughout childhood.

A companion book Dreams for our Daughters follows in 2021, though it’s only in the title of this one that there’s any mention of gender.

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