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Welcome With Love Hardcover – March 1, 1999


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Children's Christmas Books
Visit the Children's Christmas Bookstore to find stories about Santa and his reindeer, cozy books to read by the fire, and sweet stories about family celebrations.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Pub (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916291960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916291969
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Jack and his family welcome a baby boy in this tranquil description of a seamless home birth, from an Australian team. "Mum's got pains in her tummy and that means her baby is ready to be born," announces the boy narrator. Overend makes the baby's arrival a family affair and carefully describes the events from a child's perspective. When Mum takes a walk outdoors alone in the whistling wind to "help the baby along," for instance, Jack thinks, "If I was a baby listening to that wind, I'd want to stay inside Mum, floating in the warm water." The woman's walk and subsequent indoor pacing works, however, and she finally gives birth in a standing position, fully undressed, supported by her husband as her children and sister look on, and a midwife guides the infant out. In a placid concluding tableau, the older siblings curl up in sleeping bags before the fire, alongside their parents and the newborn. Vivas's (Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge) softly focused pencil illustrations capture the serenity of the delivery, as well as Jack's aweAand slight apprehensionAat the arrival of his new brother. Though the natural childbirth scenario may not be typical of most youngsters' experience, those awaiting the birth of a new sibling may well take comfort in the book's smooth introduction of the stages leading up to labor as well as its soothing tone and images. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 6-A refreshing book that dares to show and tell it like it is. "Mum's got pains in her tummy and that means her baby is ready to be born." So Jack, his two older sisters, Dad, Anna the midwife, and Mum's sister get ready. The baby's clothes are laid out, the "special microphone" and an oxygen tank are unpacked, and a giant bed is set up by the fire. Readers are then presented with the routines and realities of a home birth. This book is bold and sensitive, tasteful and sweet. There is no shielding from reality. Mum yells and screams and leans on Dad. Jack, from whose point of view the story is told, is anxious and unsure of what to expect. When the baby is born, there are several startling and yet beautiful images: the baby's head emerging from between Mum's standing legs, the baby boy dangling upside down on the page with his umbilical cord reaching up, and finally the mother, naked and on her knees cradling the baby in her arms. There is an inner glow to these colored-pencil illustrations, a softness and purity that allows for total acceptance of this unadorned experience. There is a feeling of intimacy, as if readers are more than bystanders to this most incredible and natural occurrence. The howling wind is used as a literary element, wild as Mum progresses through her labor, dying down at night, and calm, as it is inside. This is a book to be shared, discussed, and simply enjoyed. It is steeped in love.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Well written and illustrations were amazing!
T. Huff
This book is a "must have" for anyone with children who is planning to give birth at home.
mimi
This wonderful children's book depicts a gentle, natural home birth on a windy, fireplace-lit night.
chickadees

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Christy Sturm on November 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on the recommendation of a midwife in the homebirth practice I used with my 2nd child. I was amazed by the beautiful story & lovely pictures. My 3 year old loved it too - especially the pictures of the little children meeting the new baby. I was so happy to have this book to introduce this topic to my daughter so she wouldn't be afraid by what was happening. It really prepared her well.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By chickadees on November 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Welcome With Love talks about childbirth with love, feelings, and great respect. It is about the kind of birth that all women are entitled to have -- and all families are entitled to be part of.
This wonderful children's book depicts a gentle, natural home birth on a windy, fireplace-lit night. The whole family participates in welcoming the new baby into the world. The story of a mother's fourth baby being born, is told in her young son's voice. He speaks of his mother's great noises during labor but he's not afraid, because she had told him beforehand that she "might make a lot of noise", he mustn't worry because "that's what it's like when babies are being born," and that she'll feel better if she yells and screams. The book shows the mother in full naked splendor pushing her baby out, the family watches with great love, tears in their eyes and excitement in their faces. The pictures were illustrated with absolute respect and regard for the birthing woman's privacy and dignity.
The book describes childbirth with touching honesty and realism. This is a perfect book to prepare children for the homebirth of a sibling. I found this beautiful story at our local library and enjoyed reading it so much I purchased a copy for my family. I love this book and highly recommend reading it to children of all ages.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Hallberg on April 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I had a homebirth and loved it. I think everyone, adults and children, need to know more about the absolute joy and safety of birthing at home. My 2 children who attended their baby brother's birth now accept homebirth as normal, not just for people who "don't like hospitals".
On the other hand, I was disappointed that the family portrayed wasn't just a regular, ordinary family. They were removed from the life that most of us live- they heated only with wood, and lighted their home with candles. Few of us do that. Most of us have central heat and lights, a water heater and a gas stove. We drive to our midwife's prenatal appointments in our cars purchased a Any Dealer USA. We aren't "back to nature" people. I fear that this book portrays a homebirthing family as out of the ordinary. As long as we view it that way, Boulder's 12% homebirthing rate will be *exceedingly* rare, and 99% of US births will continue to be in hospitals. That is a shame.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Erin Arlinghaus on November 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It seems like every book about the arrival of a new sibling tells a child he should be jealous -- do we set them up for this? This book, instead, illustrates wonder and love as it tells the story of the birth of a family's fourth child through the eyes of the third, while acknowledging subtly and honestly that young Jack is aware of the change in his place in the family, through a single sentence near the end ("[The baby]'s between Mum and Dad, which is where I'd like to be.") In this home birth, though a midwife attends, family is central: Julie Vivas depicts the girls holding a hot water bottle against Mum's back and bringing her towels; an aunt arrives bearing flowers and soup; Dad holds Mum tight during contractions. Breasts and nursing and naked Mum are illustrated naturally and beautifully. Yes, the setting is rustic (as some reviewers note) but the book takes place in Australia, which probably accounts for cultural differences. Homebirthing, breastfeeding, and family-bedding folks will find content that supports these practices. My 15-month-old loves to turn to the page with a large illustration of a wrinkly, naked boy baby with the cord still attached. I plan to use this book liberally with my son when we begin preparing for his first sibling in a couple of years.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "homebirthmomma" on February 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a home birth mom myself I adore this book! I needed a "how was I born book" for my daughter. So many books talked about the hospital birth and I did not want to imbed that into her precious mind. Co sleeping, brestfeeding, labor and love are all beautifully portrayed! I nerer noticed the rusticness until I read it in these other reviews. BUY IT, KEEP IT FOREVER!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Beccy Stones on July 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My son (26 months) loves this book. He calls it "teeny tiny baby socks" because in the book the baby's socks are "so tiny they fit on my fingers" and then later when the baby wears them, they look too big. Those socks seem to be giving him a good idea of how tiny a newborn is. The other day I showed him his birth "blood guts and gore" photos, which includes one with just his head sticking out of me. There is a very similar, realistic but pastel, drawing of the Mum and baby in this book, and that night when we read the book, he pored over the picture, like he was really taking in the similarity with his birth photos. The other picture in the book that fascinated him was the one with the baby hanging from the umbilical cord (it's kind of cartoony in that the mom isn't in the picture, but really cute homebirthing newborn in its alertness). He measured his hands against the baby-in-the-picture's hands, just like we'd measured his hands against his 3-day-old handprints that we found with the birth photos. It also covers the issue of the baby getting the place "between Mum and Dad, where I would like to be" and the little boy then solving the situation by hopping into Dad's sleeping bag with him (they are all spending the baby's first night in front of the fire in the lounge).

A few people have commented the house was very rustic, but really you don't see much of the house. It is possible there is a TV and microwave out of sight (there is a phone there), and coming from a warm climate that does have winter like Australia (where the book is from), I don't think it's "rustic" to have a fire in your lounge, especially on a special occasion. In countries without central heating, you have to make a plan in winter.
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