Baby Come Home, by Elizabeth Kail Arnita and illustrated by Diane Lucas, is a touching story to add to your faith-inspired collection. It’s about a rescued baby bird tenderly and lovingly raised by Sam. “Baby “has a beautiful garden to live in and is safe and loved as long as he listens to Sam and stays within the garden walls. Baby loves Sam, too, and expresses his love through his joyful bird song.
As Baby grows up he becomes very curious about the world beyond the garden wall. Sam gets another bird, Popcorn, to keep him company. They become fast friends, but one day the adventurous Popcorn escapes and soars over the garden wall never to return. Then Baby is lonely and restless again. He decides to leave the garden, too, and see what the outside world offers.
Outside it’s strange and wonderful, but terrifying, too. Baby meets other birds who warn him of Jake. Baby sings his lovely song even though cautioned that such singing is dangerous,. Soon Baby must run for his life from Jake, a huge predator bird. We fear all is lost. Will Baby escape? Will he be found in time? Sam hears his beloved bird singing, and rescues him -- but their reunion is bittersweet. Baby has disobeyed Sam in leaving the garden, yet Sam still loves him. Baby learns that Sam’s love is unconditional and forgiving -- he only ever wanted to keep his precious Baby safe.
There are many important life and Bible lessons in this story. We see Baby as an innocent in the Garden of Eden, advised to obey his master Sam and stay safe in the garden. Then we see Baby as the disobedient child, willful in his desire to know the world outside the protective garden walls. We see him as the prodigal son returning after his dangerous adventures. We see Baby restored and welcomed back to the safe and loving care of his master, Sam.
Children can learn that “the grass isn’t always greener” on the other side of the wall. They can see that those older and wiser are there to protect and guide them – to teach them to walk sure-footedly before they fly, and to fly carefully before they soar.
Diane Lucas’ expressive artwork adds to the enjoyment of the story and shows each animal's “realistic” emotions. You clearly see how each of the characters feels and reacts as the story progresses. The ending foreshadows more stories, adventures, and lessons to come about Baby and his garden friends!
Baby Come Home is available at www.halopublishing.com, and www.holapublishing.com