HOW BABIES ARE MADE by Andrew C. & Steven Schepp Andry


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How Babies Are Started would be more like it, for nine-tenths of this is about fertilization--in flowering plants, chickens, dogs and humans--and amounts to a clinical extension of the old birds and bees analogy, here fleshed out (if that's the word) by precise paper sculptures of the components and the conjunction. Thus the pollen tube pierces the flower egg, producing a seed which falls onto the ground and grows into another plant; the rooster mounts the hen to place the opening under his tail next to the opening under hers; the male dog mounts the female to place his penis into her vagina; in each case permitting the sperm to enter an egg which will become a baby. In the case of humans, a sheet is discreetly drawn over the copulating couple and there are cutaways of the interior--sperm fertilizing egg, egg entering uterus, fetus growing and developing. Seen from the outside is the baby's head emerging from the mother's body, being grasped by the doctor's hands. Nowhere is there mention of cell division or any explanation of how the fertilized egg becomes the baby, born or unborn: like Topsy, it just grows. In this respect, and in its focus on fertilization as a mechanical function of living forms, this is distinctly inferior to Showers' Before You Were a Baby (1172, J-448), which stresses the continuity of life--specifically of human life--and the uniqueness of each individual. As for the illustrations, the unfortunately cartoonish paper sculptures (see the begging dog displaying his penis) have the opposite effect from Ingrid Fetz' delicate but equally precise drawings. If you want to go into the subject, Before You Were a Baby is both sounder and more sensitive.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1968
Publisher: Time-Life Books