Making a Baby

Dial. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593324851.
Gr 2-5–The gestation and eventual birth of a human baby is one of the true miracles; starting a family is an intimate, loving, and complicated experience. How much children are told about the process can vary widely, from the silly explanations involving cabbage patches and storks to the more frank and direct approach found in this book. It is biologically accurate, covering reproductive methods other than intercourse as well, e.g., artificial insemination and surrogacy. The illustrations are anatomically correct but not graphic; the descriptive language is straightforward and accurate in naming body parts. With all the right information, this book challenges educators to determine the audience: What age, what life experience, and what social and cultural issues does it address? Where will it do the most good? The subject and the relatively small illustrations limit its usefulness in story-hour sharing. It’s perfect for reading in a one-on-one setting, but only by a caretaker who wants to answer a curious child’s questions without sugarcoating or distorting the process. The imminent birth of a new sibling might inspire parents to seek out this information and then deliver it on a need-to-know basis.
VERDICT A book that really tells it like it is, from the sex act to birth, without shying away from topics such as male, female, and intersex genders, egg and sperm donations, and C-sections, this should be available in all public and school libraries.

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