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Before You Were Born Hardcover – May 1, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-A whimsical yet accurate look at many different aspects of prenatal development. Told from a pregnant woman's point of view, the lighthearted rhyming text begins, "Before you were born and with 9 months to go..." and counts down to delivery day. In the bottom left corner of each double-page spread is a thumbnail drawing of a baby along with an informational tidbit on a developmental milestone that each month brings. For example, readers learn that at seven months to go, "You were now starting to smile and frown." The facing page then focuses on one identifying event for that month such as hearing the baby's heartbeat, feeling the effects of the hiccups, or experiencing rapid weight gain. After focusing on the mother's perspective, a postcard-sized flap can be lifted to reveal the fetus, happily painting its growing nails or gleefully dancing, boom box in hand. Loose, jaunty, black-ink lines and splashy watercolors support the humorous tone of these anecdotal vignettes that are sure to garner laughs as the woman's belly grows out of proportion to her tall skinny face. Readers will enjoy the interactive nature of this energetic title.
Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

Share the pleasure. Unveil the mystery. This joyous, innovative book about pregnancy tells the parallel story of mother and baby, from hearing the thumpity-thump of baby's heartbeat to that unforgettable first meeting.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Ltf edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761112006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761112006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book, along with several others, to help prepare my 2-year old daughter for the arrival of her new baby sister. While the illustrations are charming and the text is cute, this book is much better suited for the older child, of the amusement of adults. It simply does not hold my toddler's attention. ...
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Format: Hardcover
The too-whimsical illustrations and awkward rhymes interfere with communication and enjoyment of what is (and should be) a fascinating topic for my four-year-old daughter (who is soon to become a big sister). For example, she found the green-faced morning sickness picture disturbing and the tea-cup / hiccough rhyme perplexing (as I did). Overall mediocre - it is chosen for bedtime reading very, very rarely. It skirts around the real questions of what's going on inside (hiding behind cutsie rhymes) - especially for the bright-sensitive type kids who are worried about the changes in mommy's pregnant body.
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Format: Hardcover
As a fertility counselor and co-author of Helping the Stork, I'm always on the lookout for books on reproduction appropriate for parents whose pregnancy began with great joy after tough times, and maybe even the help of an egg or sperm donor. This book, told from the mom's and baby's viewpoints, would be great for any singleton pregnancy. It is not ideal for mom-only families; dads may find the illustrations of their supporting role pretty funny - the whole book is!
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Format: Hardcover
Did the images in this book creep anyone else out? I didn't appreciate the rhymes or the verbage in this book. The illustrations were creepy in a way. Giving an already imaginative child these illustrations (of a happy, smiling, fully-formed baby in utero doing gymnastics and) is only going to disappoint them at the birth.
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By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a mom to be, I plan to read to my child and encourage her to love learning. I know from my next door neighbor's children (ages 2 and 4) that they are very inquisitive about what is happening to me while my child grows inside me. This book really helped them understand about the new life that was on the way. It's written in terms children understand...they loved the little flaps, because it made it interactive for them!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
,,,,,However I am a little disappointed that it specifically relates to kids born in a hospital, hence the 4-star rating. This book was purchased for my granddaughter who was born at home. Still waiting to find a book that addresses home or other out-of-hospital births, or at least one that doesn't just "speak to" kids born in a medical facility. Except for that, we do like the book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a grandmother of many curious grandchildren, I often reach for this book to explain a subject that fascinates them: how they grew in their mom's belly. "Before You Were Born" is packed full of facts and is at the same time a fun read. Jennifer Davis's text will make you and your children giggle. And Laura Cornell, who also illustrates Jaime Lee Curtis' books, has kept the subject light and whimsical. You can take the story as far as you want. It is a book we read over and over.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This arrived in the mail today and I read it through before reading it to my daughter (2.5 years). I am expecting my second child and wanted to prepare her and teach her about pregnancy. I am very disappointed with how poorly suited it is for young children. I was expecting something more educational and informative, not just cutesy. This book would maybe be amusing for adults, but it is totally over my toddler's head.

Also, I am having a home birth (and did with my daughter, too), and this book specifically states that mom and dad went to the hospital. This is applicable to most families, but the reference makes it a poor tool for my home birth baby.
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