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The Baby Tree Hardcover – May 1, 2014
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A delightfully age-appropriate way to give young children the facts about conception and birth. A baby is coming, and the soon-to-be big brother has many questions, his most persistent one being "Where do babies come from?" After gathering partial answers from his babysitter, his teacher, and his grandpa, he is more confused than ever. The boy has heard that babies come from a baby tree, the hospital, and special delivery by stork. Feeling dissatisfied with these answers, he finally asks Mom and Dad, who lovingly sit down and explain exactly where babies come from. In one page, they relate the truth, explaining that an egg comes from the mother, a seed from the father, resulting in the growth of a baby—an explanation that satisfies the protagonist's curiosity and makes him realize that there is a bit of truth in every story. Well, except for Grandpa's. He just may have to explain to him where babies really come from. The story smoothly sails from tale to tale as the main character searches for answers. The back matter goes into more detail for children who would like more information. The Chinese ink and watercolor illustrations are beautifully crafted and designed in a manner that shows movement. Each page is adorned with soft colors and crisp, clear pictures that enhance the story. Another wonderful contribution from Blackall.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE
How does one go about “getting” a baby? A young brother-to-be ponders that question after learning an infant will be joining his family. He asks a number of people and receives a wide variety of responses, leaving him more confused than enlightened. He finally questions his parents, who tell him what he wants to know, simply and without fanfare. Engaging illustrations in Chinese ink and watercolor vary in size from large double-page spreads to several small vignettes on a page. Each response to the question stimulates the boy’s imagination as revealed in the pictures: a stork making a delivery, a baby tree bursting with buds and babies, and infants hatching from eggs in a nest. The characters appear to be vigorously healthy with their florid cheeks and ever-present smiles, and the antics of the family’s black cat are entertaining. “Answering the Question ‘Where Do Babies Come From?’” concludes the book and contains age-appropriate responses. An appealing book for children preparing to welcome a new baby or who are simply curious. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Maryann Owen