From the Publisher
"IT'S SO AMAZING! is the amazingly upbear and caring book that children have been waiting for — because it answers the many quetions most children have about babies, bodies, love, sex, reproduction, and family. This book is totally child-friendly and the perfect read-aloud book for children and families. Try if for the best-ever depiction of the real meaning of family." — Penelope Leach, Ph.D., author of YOUR BABY AND CHILD and CHILDREN FIRST
"This thoughtufl, innovative, and comprehensive book helps children with issues that are on their minds anyway — and gives all of us the language we need to share with them." — T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., author of TOUCHPOINTS: YOUR CHILD'S EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT
As a pediatrician, I know that children have many questions about reproduction, birth, bodies, babies, and families. Finding the answers, in a comfortable, appropriate, and interesting way, is an essential part of growing up healthy in body and mind. This book provides an opportunity for children to find answers to their quetions with clarity of explanation, fabulous illustrations, and humor, together with an all-important sense of wonder." — Perri Klass, M.D., Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, Boston, MA
"An excellent resource on sex education for young children, presented in a lively and engaging style for both kids and parents. A book every family should own." — Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; co-author of RAISING BLACK CHILDREN: TWO LEADING PSYCHIATRISTS CONFRONT THE EDUATIONAL, SOCIAL, AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS FACING BLACK CHILDREN
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The creators of It's Perfectly Normal, targeted to middle-schoolers, here reach out to a slightly younger audience with candor and humor, neatly distilling various aspects of sex, reproduction and love. An inquisitive, loquacious bird and an embarrassed bee act as comic and straight man and serve as diverting foils to Harris's conversational narrative; kids will both identify with and chuckle at the two characters' reactions and asides. The duo's cheerful banter also clarifies some potentially confusing issues ("So the fetus doesn't grow where the pizza goes!" proclaims the newly enlightened bee). Specific topics covered include changes in boys' and girls' bodies during puberty, intercourse, birth control, chromosomes and genes, adoption and adjusting to a newborn sibling. The roster of experts in the closing acknowledgments speaks to the sensitivity and intelligence with which Harris and Emberley handle their treatment of masturbation, sexual abuse, HIV and AIDS and homosexuality. Emberley's artwork ranges from lighthearted cartoon panels of a talking sperm meeting up with an egg in the fallopian tube to straightforward drawings of reproductive organs and a developing fetus. With its informal yet informed perspective, this volume renders much "amazing" phenomena reassuringly comprehensible. Ages 7-up. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
A few years ago, this team produced the acclaimed It's Perfectly Normal aimed at kids ages 11 and up. Now they have collaborated on a book that talks about eggs, sperm, birth, babies and families and have targeted it for a younger audience. The book never talks down, the language is accessible and the facts are fairly presented. Harris does not shy away from difficult topics such as homosexuality, HIV and AIDS. Two cartoon characters--a bird and a bee--guide kids through the discussions. There is plenty of humor and a multicultural cast. The subjects of where babies come from and what sex is may be difficult for adults to address, but with this book, they can either talk about the topics with kids or let kids read the book on their own. A good choice for families and libraries.
New York Times Book Review
The text recognizes children's feelings and fears, and reassures, line by line, that they are always lovable and always loved, no matter what. Beyond biology, It's So Amazing! is finally about love, and that, we hope, is where babies come from.
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
The 15th anniversary edition of this highly regardedby pediatricians, professors, and parentsbook on babies and where they come from has all of the important features of the first text. Information and visuals regarding new innovations in science and technology are a welcome addition. Twenty-two chapters of informational narrative cover everything from myths around babies and pregnancy to bringing the baby home from the hospital, and include brightly illustrated pictures of babies, parents and various processes as well as comic relief. Because this book is aimed at children and the types of questions they normally ask about pregnancy, sex, babies, and so on, chapters focus on the physical differences between girls and boys, how sperm and egg become a fetus, and the birth process. Additional chapters provide information on adoption, HIV, sex, and reproduction. The book also provides an extended thank you section that highlights the various experts who helped out with the book (and reinforces how well-researched the book is) as well as an index of terms that may be unfamiliar to elementary readers. As noted, the illustrations really add to this book, mainly for their realism and the humor found on every page as bird and bee chat and the varying babies, parents, and siblings on each page react to each other and what’s being discussed. This is a great text for any elementary library, pediatrician’s office or family library. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.; Ages 7 to 10.
Read an Excerpt
MEET THE BIRD AND THE BEE
Do You Know What I Read?
So How Do Babies Really Begin?
Have you ever looked at your baby pictures?
Have you ever wondered where babies come from -- or how babies are made -- or where you came from -- or how you really began?
Everyone -- grandparents, parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and even teachers, firefighters, librarians, gymnasts, astronauts, dentists, scientists, cooks, nurses, shopkeepers, doctors, bus drivers, pilots, police officers, hockey players, mayors, and rock stars -- every person in the whole wide world was a baby once. The arrival of a new baby is so amazing! Most kids -- but not all -- are curious about how such an amazing and wonderful thing could possibly happen.
You may think that by now you already know -- or that you should know -- exactly how a baby is made. But even if your mom or dad has talked to you about this, or even if you and your friends have talked about it -- it's still perfectly normal to have questions about where babies come from. Talking with a parent, a doctor, a nurse, or a teacher is a good way to find out answers to your questions.
Sometimes you may feel very private about your questions and thoughts and feelings about how babies begin. Or it may feel embarrassing or hard to ask questions about making babies. Feeling curious about this, or embarrassed, or private, or even confused, is perfectlynormal. And having lots of questions about where babies come from is also perfectly normal.
Since the beginning of time, people young and old have tried to figure out where babies come from and how a baby is made. But how a baby is made is not a simple thing. That's why learning about it can be interesting and even fun -- no matter how old you are.
EGG + SPERM = BABY
When a new baby animal or plant is made, scientists call that "reproduction." To reproduce means "to make again" -- to make the same thing again.
Reproduction is how plants and animals make new plants and animals like themselves.
One fact about making a human baby is quite simple. It takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby.
Sperm and eggs are cells. In fact, all plants and animals -- including humans -- are made up of cells. And the human body is made up of millions and millions and millions of cells.
Sperm and eggs are the cells that can make a baby. The beginning cells of many animals -- but not all -- start to grow when an egg cell joins together with a sperm cell. This is the way humans make new babies. In fact, the beginning cells of a human baby can start to grow only when a sperm cell and an egg cell have joined together.
SAME AND DIFFERENT
Male -- Female
Another fact that's quite simple is that human babies -- like most other animals -- are born female or male. Girls and women are female. Boys and men are male.
Most parts of our bodies -- our toes, our fingers, our noses, our legs, our arms, our eyes, our hearts, our lungs, our stomachs, our buttocks -- are the same and look quite the same whether we are female or male.
The parts that are different are the parts that make each of us a female or a male. Some of these parts are on the outside of our bodies. Some are inside our bodies. Some are also the parts -- when a person's body grows up -- that can make a baby.
A male's sperm is needed to make a baby. Sperm are made in the male parts called "testicles." When a boy's body grows up, his two testicles will make an amazing amount of sperm -- about one hundred million to three hundred million each day.
A female's egg is needed to make a baby. Eggs are stored inside the female parts called "ovaries." When a baby girl is born, her two ovaries have all the eggs -- about one million to two million -- she will ever need to make a baby.
Although every boy is born with the parts that will make millions of sperm, and every girl is born with the parts that store millions of eggs, those parts cannot make a baby until a child's body has grown up. And that time is called "puberty."
What People are saying about this
Alvin F. Poussaint
From Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., consultant to Bill
Cosby for The Cosby Show and other projects and Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
[A]n excellent resource on sex education for young children . . . A book
every family should own.
T Berry Brazelton
From T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., author of Touchpoints
This thoughtful, innovative, and comprehensive book helps children with
issues that are on their minds anywayand gives all of us the language we
need to share with them.
From Perri Klass, M.D., Parenting contributing editor and Medical Director of Reach Out and Read
[P]rovides an opportunity for children to find answers to their
questions, with clarity of explanation, fabulous illustrations, and humor,
together with [its] all-important sense of wonder.
An amazingly upbeat and caring books ... totally 'child-friendly.'