How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske and Don Bartlett (translator)
|How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske and Don Bartlett (translator)|
|Category: Home and Family|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The facts of life delivered in no-nonsense language with illustrations. It's suitable for children from the age of four years (although Amazon suggests a range of 7 to 11) and is highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 80||Date: July 2020|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
It's more than sixty years since I asked how babies were made. My mother was deeply embarrassed and told me that she'd get me a book about it. A couple of days later I was handed a pamphlet (which delivered nothing more than the basics, in clinical language which had never been used in our house before) and I was told that it wouldn't be discussed any further as it wasn't something which nice people talked about. I knew more, but was little wiser. Thankfully, times have changed.
How refreshing it was to read Anna Fiske's How Do You Make a Baby? We begin with the simple statement that we were all babies once: regardless of how we've ended up, we all started the same way. So, how were we made? The usual myths are discounted and we're left with the truth. It begins with two people developing a relationship, falling in love and then having sex. I liked that the process is presented in the framework of a loving relationship and that there are illustrations, some of which will make you laugh. Don't worry - you're meant to. There's nothing too graphic, but we learn about the penis and the vagina and how one enters the other and the baby-making process begins. We're then taken through what happens stage by stage until the birth of the baby. It's factually correct and there's rather more information than you might expect in an 80-page book which is mainly illustrations.
Questions are asked such as who is having sex here? It's all very matter of fact. There are numerous opportunities for discussion: it's essential that the adult who is reading this with a child is open to discussion of intimate topics. This is not the time to hide behind euphemisms or prevarications: it's far better that young people know the correct facts than that they live in ignorance. Children are curious about how babies are made. I think the tone of the book is best described as 'playful' and whilst it might be pointed out that this is a serious subject, 'playful' is far better than 'patronising' or 'incomprehensible' from the child's point of view.
Received wisdom says that a child will ask the question when they're ready to hear the answer and that will vary from child to child. My press release suggests that the book is suitable for children of four and upwards. Amazon suggests an age range of seven to eleven years. You know your child and you'll know when the time is right. It's a book to have available for when the question is asked.
A word about the book itself: it's Gecko Press, so production values are high. This is a substantial hardback: it's going to stand a lot of handling and the chances are that it's a book which a child will want to discuss with an adult and then read alone, probably on several occasions.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
How Do You Make a Baby doesn't go into the changes which boys and girls will meet in adolescence, so girls might also appreciate Have You Started Yet?: You and your period: getting the facts straight by Ruth Thomson and Chloe Thomson, whilst boys will get a lot from Unzipped: A Toolkit for Life by Matt Whyman.
You can read more book reviews or buy How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske and Don Bartlett (translator) at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna Fiske and Don Bartlett (translator) at Amazon.com.
Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.
Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.