From Publishers Weekly
The creators of It's Perfectly Normal, targeted to middle-schoolers, here reach out to a slightly younger audience with candor and humor, neatly distilling various aspects of sex, reproduction and love. An inquisitive, loquacious bird and an embarrassed bee act as comic and straight man and serve as diverting foils to Harris's conversational narrative; kids will both identify with and chuckle at the two characters' reactions and asides. The duo's cheerful banter also clarifies some potentially confusing issues ("So the fetus doesn't grow where the pizza goes!" proclaims the newly enlightened bee). Specific topics covered include changes in boys' and girls' bodies during puberty, intercourse, birth control, chromosomes and genes, adoption and adjusting to a newborn sibling. The roster of experts in the closing acknowledgments speaks to the sensitivity and intelligence with which Harris and Emberley handle their treatment of masturbation, sexual abuse, HIV and AIDS and homosexuality. Emberley's artwork ranges from lighthearted cartoon panels of a talking sperm meeting up with an egg in the fallopian tube to straightforward drawings of reproductive organs and a developing fetus. With its informal yet informed perspective, this volume renders much "amazing" phenomena reassuringly comprehensible. Ages 7-up. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-Another barrier-breaking contribution by Harris and Emberley that seamlessly bridges It's Perfectly Normal (1994) and Happy Birth Day! (1996, both Candlewick). This oversized, attractive guide on reproduction and birth answers common questions such as "Exactly what is sex?" and "Where does the baby actually come out?" The familiar enthusiastic bird and reluctant bee narrate the comic cartoon panels, eventually deciding that the miracles of birth, families, and love are just "so amazing." Readers will appreciate the life-size illustration of a full-term fetus, and adults will be grateful for the many different ways Emberley portrays situations not always easy to explain to children. People are represented with a variety of body shapes and ethnicity, and Harris discusses sexual preferences and alternative family situations. While the illustrations are engaging and often hilarious, factual information is effectively presented in a clear, nonjudgmental tone that will inform and assure readers. Topics covered include basic anatomy, conception, fetal development, birth, genetics, adoption, and love. Sexual abuse and HIV are sensitively mentioned in short, informative chapters. An essential guide that will delight and inform and appeal to young readers as well as adults.Katie O'Dell, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.