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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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When You Were Inside Mommy Hardcover – August 7, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When You Were Inside Mommy by Joanna Cole, illus. by Maxie Chambliss, also explains pregnancy and childbirth in language young children can understand and presents pertinent details in a matter-of-fact manner. Chambliss's palette in soft tones of pink, blue and lavender conveys the happiness of the expectant family and several detailed drawings of a developing fetus reveal some of the mystery. The small trim size makes the paper-over-board book comfortable for lap sharing while the "Note to Parents" in the back offers advice on talking to children.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

reS-A meaningful and sensitive way to open up a dialogue about pregnancy and childbirth with preschoolers. Cole tells the facts in a straightforward, enthusiastic, but sensitive manner, addressing the child directly ("Once you were inside your mommy. Did you know that? It's true!"). The concepts covered are the most basic: babies grow in the womb from cells provided by the mother and father and are fed through a special tube. When the muscles of the womb start squeezing and the baby is ready to be born, the scene switches to the hospital, where the joy of the birth is the main focus. Chambliss's color illustrations match Cole's tone perfectly, and show a warm and loving family consisting of a mother, a father, and a baby who develops into a boy of about four. The happiness brought on by the infant's birth can even be seen on the faces of the doctors, their smiles visible through their surgical masks. Illustrations that depict the womb and the umbilical cord make the text easier to understand without being too graphic. An informative note to parents offers practical tips for answering children's questions with honesty and warmth.

Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 37240th edition (August 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688170439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688170431
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanna Cole s a former elementary school teacher and librarian and a frequent contributor to Parents magazine. Joanna Cole lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 28 month old son loves this book. When we first got it, two months ago, he received the information with wide-eyed wonder. Now, he is able to "read" the book himself, reciting the simple sentences himself from memory while looking at the pictures. We are expecting a new sibling next year, and our thought was that before our son should know or could understand that a new baby was inside mommy, it would be helpful for him first to know and understand that he was once inside. Small kids are ego-centric by nature, and knowing it was about him really helped. I have not been able to find a better book to accomplish this job. I'd recommend it without reservation to anyone looking for a first book on the facts of life. The language and material are approached in a simple, direct, age-appropriate way.

That said, there are some things a parent might want to know before purchasing this book:
1) As the cover illustration suggests, the book features a two-parent, heterosexual family with one child. The family has a light peach skintone. The sex of the child is not explicit, but the illustrations lean toward implying he's a boy.

2) The book does not address the sexual act, sperm, or eggs. This is somewhat good, because the material is enough for a small child to digest without adding that to it, but it makes things a bit confusing. A two page spread reads, "In the beginning you were just one tiny cell. Half of the cell came from your mommy, and the other half came from your daddy. That cell was smaller than this dot! ." The illustration shows the mom and dad holding together halves of a construction paper heart. This confused my child and made him think we could create a child by making a collage.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is such a great way for preschoolers to learn where they came from and gives parents a way to tell their child's birth story. We interject specific happenings from our son's birth story and he just loves it. It was the perfect book to read to our oldest son when we were pregnant with our second child as it helped him understand the process of what was happening/going to happen now that there was another baby inside of mommy. He was only 2 years old and he comprehended it all through the simple language and adorable pictures! Perfect book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for pre-school age children who are curious about being "inside mommy" but who do not need a lot of information yet. This book was the perfect first book for my 4 year son who has been asking questions.
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Format: Hardcover
Joanna Cole (I Am a Big Brother, I Am a Big Sister) has created yet another great book for sharing with young children. Directly addressing toddlers and preschool age children, Cole tells about pregnancy and childbirth. Using terms such as uterus, umbilical cord, and breast, and with illustrations of a child inside the womb, Cole and Chambliss have created a wonderful book for parents to share with very, young children, especially when a new baby is expected. Additional information on answering children's questions about birth is provided at the back of the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We got this for my 2 year old since we are expecting another baby in a few months. This is the first introduction to "where babies come from" or new sibling info we gave him. He likes the book a lot and requests it.

The book doesn't actually get into new siblings at all, it's all about the current child, how they grew inside mommy and then was born. It doesn't get into sex at all, it says something about the baby starting as a tiny cell, and half the cell coming from mommy and half from daddy. I like that it uses more or less correct vocab; the baby grows in mommy's uterus, not in mommy's tummy. It does say that the baby comes out through an opening between mommy's legs, no anatomy there. It also talks about the baby getting food and air through the umbilical cord and shows a few cartoon pictures or different fetal stages.

Overall I thought it was a great introduction for younger kids. Older kids could probably use more detail, but it's a good start without opening up too much. I also liked to start with this rather than a big brother type book, since the concept of having a new baby in a few months definitely seems harder for my toddler to grasp. This would also be good for toddlers who weren't having new siblings but were just starting to ask about other babies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book when I was expecting my second child, and my first was 2. We enjoyed reading it together many, many times. It provides details about how babies grow in the womb and how they are born at a level appropriate for little kids. Regarding the birth, it says something like "Mommy felt the muscles of her womb squeezing, and she pushed you out through a special opening that can open wide to let a baby through." I was on my own on how to prepare him for my upcoming repeat C-section, but other than that, the book covered everything I wished it would.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pretty good explanation for very little ones to understand childbirth. Wish the part about you started off as a half cell from dad and half came from mom ACTUALLY SHOWED the cells coming together (instead of mom and dad putting a puzzle piece heart together which is only going to confuse kids.) Also the book did not leave room for having a c-section so I will have to tell my son that he got stuck on the way out and the doctor rescued him. Overall, very pleased and will not be looking for another book on the subject.
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