What Makes a Baby

illus. by Fiona Smyth. 36p. Seven Stories. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-60980-485-5. LC 2013001628.
PreS-Gr 2—Intending to be "a book for every kind of FAMILY and every kind of KID," this title has lofty aspirations that are mostly successful. It emphasizes that not everyone goes about having a baby the same way. Silverberg explains that the genetic material in a sperm or egg has stories to tell "about the body [it] came from." The bold, stylized illustrations show non-gender-specific people in a rainbow of hues, some with internal parts to make a baby and others without. Refreshingly, anatomically correct terminology is used in most cases, although when describing a birth, the author writes, "Some babies are born by coming out through a part of the body that most people call the vagina," as if that term were debatable. The text also states that many babies are born with other kinds of medical intervention at the hands of midwives and doctors, providing a well-rounded view of modern birth. The final spread asks, "Who was waiting for you to be born?" and successfully makes the point that the people waiting for the birth to occur are excited. This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic.—Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, OH

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