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HOW BIG IS OUR BABY? by Smriti Prasadam-Halls


by Smriti Prasadam-Halls ; illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-61067-953-4
Publisher: Kane Miller

A month-to-month guide for expectant older siblings.

The opening text offers “Congratulations!” to soon-to-be big brothers and sisters, assuring the racially diverse group of children depicted, “You’re going to be a very important part of their life.” While this last pronoun is gender-inclusive with regard to a new baby on the way, the text as a whole reinforces a strict gender binary in its address of brothers and sisters and in contemplating whether the baby will be a boy or a girl. Heteronormativity is also apparent in repeated references to a mom with illustrations that appear to depict only mom and dad couples. (A more inclusive, comparable title would be Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth’s What Makes a Baby, 2013). Alongside these concerns, however, is accessible content regarding gestation that will answer many young children’s questions about pregnancy, fetal development, and birth. Included in the cartoon-style art, for example, are depictions of various foods and other objects that approximate the average size of a developing baby in the womb, ranging from “a speck of sand at the seaside” for Month 1 to a watermelon at Month 9. Additional information about fetal activity and characteristics is included on each spread, too, and there’s careful attention to respect for pregnant and postpartum parents’ need for rest and support.

Informative—though not expansive—in its vision for explaining gestation to children.

(Picture book. 3-6)