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WHAT MAKES A BABY by Cory Silverberg Kirkus Star


by Cory Silverberg ; illustrated by Fiona Smyth

Age Range: 2 - 7

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60980-485-5
Publisher: Seven Stories

A sex educator and an artist with a graphics background craft an unusually flexible explanation of baby-making for sharing with young children.

Silverberg’s text and Smyth’s inclusive illustrations work together not only to answer questions about where babies come from, but also to provide an opportunity for caregivers to share as much or as little about that particular child’s history as they want. Eggs and sperm come together to share their stories, there’s a uterus to grow in, people waiting for the child’s birth and two possible ways to exit (through the vagina or through a temporary opening in the belly). The narrative leaves lots of room for child listeners to see their own stories, and it even invites conversation. “Who was waiting for you to be born?” Lively illustrations done with heavy lines inked in a cartoon style make extensive use of color à la Todd Parr. They feature children and adults of strikingly varying ages, skin colors (lots of greens, blues and purples, some grays, pinks and oranges) and apparent abilities or disabilities. This book was born as a Kickstarter project and self-published, first, in 2012.

Designed for all kinds of children in all kinds of families, this will be particularly welcome in adoptive and nontraditional families but is, uniquely, an appealing and informative complement to early sex-education discussions with any child. (Informational picture book. 2-7)