When the world was waiting for you by Gillian Shields is one of those rare treats that every parent and child should wait no longer to read.

It’s beauty lies in its simplicity and brevity. In the two minutes or so that it takes to read, parents and grandparents and children alike can enter the world of the family of rabbits as they prepare for their new baby. Mothers and fathers can re-live the magical anticipation of their own experience and children will be intrigued, delighted and comforted by the sense of bustle, preparation and occasion that the book so richly conveys.

Anna Currey’s illustrations are wonderful. Traditional, soft and warm - perfect in the muted sidelight glow of family bedtime. One can imagine them appealing to children of today, tomorrow and time immemorial.

And when you’ve finished reading once, why not indulge? Open the book again, re- read the gentle rhythmic text, pause a little, and add a few details that are unique to you and your child’s arrival.

Review by Claire Doyle

Published by Bloomsbury, publication date 1st March 2012, ISBN - 978 1408806302, RRP £5.99.