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What Makes a Baby Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–Intending to be “a book for every kind of FAMILY and every kind of KID,” this title has lofty aspirations that are mostly successful. It emphasizes that not everyone goes about having a baby the same way. Silverberg explains that the genetic material in a sperm or egg has stories to tell “about the body [it] came from.” The bold, stylized illustrations show non-gender-specific people in a rainbow of hues, some with internal parts to make a baby and others without. Refreshingly, anatomically correct terminology is used in most cases, although when describing a birth, the author writes, “Some babies are born by coming out through a part of the body that most people call the vagina,” as if that term were debatable. The text also states that many babies are born with other kinds of medical intervention at the hands of midwives and doctors, providing a well-rounded view of modern birth. The final spread asks, “Who was waiting for you to be born?” and successfully makes the point that the people waiting for the birth to occur are excited. This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic.–Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The playful illustrations and simple but intelligent text illuminate the basic biology of reproduction while honoring today’s diversity of families, of genders and gender identities, and of how kids can come into a family."—Maria Popova, Brainpickings.org
"This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic."—School Library Journal
“It’s an informative and entertaining read for kids of all parents, straight or queer. And, hey, even if your kids were conceived the old-fashioned way, they should know not everyone was—and why.”—Queerty
"What Makes a Baby aims to be just about the most inclusive sex ed book for kids you've ever come across[...] it has none of this mommy and daddy love each other and he watered her flower with his watering can and then a baby was born stuff; What Makes a Baby is for kids around four to eight years of age, teaching them about"conception, gestation, and birth" using really specific language."—Jezebel
"What Makes a Baby is a delightful, touching, brilliantly written and beautifully illustrated book that really is ‘for every kind of family, and every kind of kid.’ It creates space for parents to answer questions about reproduction in an age appropriate way and in a way that also speaks to the reality of their family and those around them. Kids and their grown-ups will love this book!"
—Jolanta Scott-Parker, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of Sexual Health
"What Makes a Baby offers a combination so rarely captured in children's books; beauty and meaning, fact and nuance, and most importantly the opportunity for all of us to see ourselves in these pages. A book explaining pregnancy and childbirth that accounts for the wonderfully diverse ways babies are made is a gift."—Nadya Burton, PhD, Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University
“The book talks about where babies come from in a way that encompasses kids who are adopted, conceived using reproductive technologies, through surrogacy, or the old-fashioned way, and regardless of how many people were involved, their orientation, gender, and other identity, or family composition. Author and sex educator Silverberg nails it, as does award-winning Canadian artist Fiona Smyth, who illustrated the book.”—The Advocate
"Designed for all kinds of children in all kinds of families, this will be particularly welcome in adoptive and non-traditional families but is, uniquely, an appealing and informative complement to early sex-education discussions with any child.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred reviews
"Smyth’s cartoons recall the work of Todd Parr, with a bright crayon-box palette. Silverberg’s writing is informative yet sufficiently general to let adults tailor the accompanying conversations as needed. A useful springboard for conversations about childbirth, no matter the family.”—Publisher's Weekly
"Silverberg’s quest to exclude no one means he omits much in the book – including any mention of sex. The point, he says, is to get children asking questions but letting parents answering them with however much detail they see fit."—The Globe and Mail
"What Makes A Baby presents factual information on conception on a kid's level. With text that is open to personal embellishment, this book is sure to cater to many families and birth experiences.”—Green Parent Chicago
“The new book What Makes a Baby offers an origin story for all children, no matter what their families look like."—The Atlantic
"LGBT parents—and any others who have ever struggled to explain reproduction to their young children in a way relevant to their families—will rejoice at the new picture book What Makes a Baby. In 32 vibrant pages, Toronto-based author Cory Silverberg explains how babies are made—in a way that works for all family structures, ways of family creation, and parents’ gender identity."—Bay Windows
“Our family needed this book. Your family needs this book. In fact, I can’t think of a family that doesn't."—Philadelphia Family Pride
"Now parents can have easy-going, straightforward, and (hopefully) painless discussions with kids about the miracle of birth!”—Parents
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The story told is incomplete in its simplicity, but it is left wide open to elaborate in many directions at many points, according to the needs of the family and child reading. This allows it to be a starting point for a longer, more complication discussion about reproduction. I absolutely recommend that it be one of the books that a family uses to talk about this topic with their young children.
My five year olds ARE at the upper end of the audience though. It would have been better when they were 3 or 4.