Breathtaking medical photographs and a poetic text chronicle the nine months between conception and birth; PW called this exceptional volume ``an awe-inspiring work.'' Ages 7-10. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 8 An astounding photo-essay on fetal development. Microphotography shows sperm entering the ovum, then, via a fiber optic lens, the growth of the fetus from a few weeks until the infant's birth. Tiny white silhouettes of the actual size of the fetus at 30 and 37 days are juxtaposed against the enlarged fetal photographs. Subsequent stages are represented lifesize on the page, brilliant color against the glossy black page. Kitzinger's second-person text matches the pictures in wonder and delight. Poetic at times in describing prenatal life as a thrilling journey, the concentration is always on how the child felt, what he did, how his mother felt about him. Lyrical descriptions of conception do not minimize the father's role. Designed for sharing by parent and child, this book could stimulate rewarding discussion. Photos of the birth show no blood or pain, but a squinched-up little face emerging and working hard to get its start in life. The exhausted little pink creature just has time to begin suckling before it falls asleep on its mother's stomach. Joanna Cole's fine How You Were Born (Morrow, 1984) compares in clarity and readability, but its few black-and-white fetal photographs pale beside Nilsson's luminosity. Most parents will want to share this wonderful book with their children. Anne Osborn, Riverside Public Library, Calif.