GETTING BORN by Russell Freedman


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Confronted straight off with the photoenlargement of brown trout eggs about to hatch ("those dark spots are the bulging eyes of baby trout"), children won't have to be prodded to turn the page to the less spectacular-looking but well laid out drawings of sperm, egg, and embryo--and on to more photos of the emerging trout. Freedman then points out that some fish, like the molly, grow inside the mother's body, and he turns then to the seahorse, with an accompanying photo of the male in process of giving birth. The same combination of straightforward generalization (reptiles' and birds' eggs hatch on land), notable exception (garter snakes don't lay eggs--the one seen here has just given birth to 57 babies), eased-in vocabulary (uterus, amnion), and impressive, well-timed photos distinguishes Freedman's progression through different orders and species right up to the cat, dolphin, and horse. Freedman's survey of How Animals Carry Their Young (1977) was too diffuse and incidental to carry much weight; in this case the combination of wide range (trout to horse) and narrow focus (the process of birth) makes for a particularly effective lesson--and the photos add considerably to the impact.
Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1979
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1979


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