Saturday, July 6, 2013

So that's where I came from

So that's where I came from 
by Gina Dawson 
illus. by Beth Norling 
Language: English 
Fitzroy, Vic. : Black Dog Books, 2010. 
1 v. : col. ill. ; 23 x 25 cm.
ISBN: 9781742031019; 1742031013 
Annotation: This comprehensive book from Australia about reproduction introduces children to the proper terminology for all terms related to human reproduction. It introduces children to the words, "penis," "vagina," "vulva," "uterus," "womb," "scrotum," "testicles," "sperm," "egg," "vas deferens," "urethra," "sexual intercourse," "ovaries," "fallopian tubes," "fertilisation," "conception," "pregnant," "amniotic fluid," "umbilical cord," "midwife," "breech," "Cesarean Section," "umbilical cord," "breasts," and "pubic hair." One way in which this book aims for comprehensiveness is its brief mention of infertility although surprisingly, given the book's large vocabulary for all things related to reproduction, does not introduce the word "infertility" for the concept of a couple being unable to conceive. "Sometimes a couple wants a baby very much, and although they have sex often, the egg and sperm don't meet." But unfortunately it stops there when it continues, "There are many reasons for this, but we don't have space to explain them all here." However, the book does go on to introduce the concepts of IVF and the use of donor gametes, as well as the need for a couple to visit a doctor in order to receive help in conceiving a baby. But on the next page the author warns children that they should not share this information about how they were conceived with other people: "The way you began and became a part of your family is personal, which means that you don't talk about it with people until you've discussed it with your mum or dad." For children conceived through ART, this could imply that there is something secretive or shameful about how they were conceived. Although the book aims to be comprehensive, and it is quite thorough in anticipating any and every question a child might have, it does not account for those who are gender nonconforming or transgendered in the way that Cory Silverberg's What Makes a Baby aims to do. This is clearly a book for primarily heterosexual parents to use with their children even though the book mentions different types of families which might include two mums or two dads. Cartoon drawings depict mixed race families and include nudity and visual and verbal depictions of lovemaking. Recommended for children ages 5-8.
Online article about the book:

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