It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families


“An outstanding book. . . . Meets the needs of those in-between or curious kids who are not ready, developmentally or emotionally, for It’s Perfectly Normal.” —Booklist (starred review)
How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies — and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers — with fun, accurate, comic-book-style ...

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“An outstanding book. . . . Meets the needs of those in-between or curious kids who are not ready, developmentally or emotionally, for It’s Perfectly Normal.” —Booklist (starred review)
How does a baby begin? What makes a baby male or female? How is a baby born? Children have plenty of questions about reproduction and babies — and about sex and sexuality, too. It’s So Amazing! provides the answers — with fun, accurate, comic-book-style artwork and a clear, lively text that reflects the interests of children age seven and up in how things work, while giving them a healthy understanding of their bodies. Created by the author and illustrator of It’s Perfectly Normal, this forthright and funny book has been newly updated for its fifteenth anniversary.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
—Colin Harrison
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763668747
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/2014
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Pages: 88
  • Sales rank: 235,489
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Robie H. Harris says, "My challenge in writing IT'S SO AMAZING! was to weave the fascinating and complicated science facts about reproduction and birth into the story of the egg and the sperm, and to communicate to children in an honest and simple way how amazing this story really is!"

Michael Emberley says that while creating the illustrations for IT'S SO AMAZING!, he "tried to delicately balance age-appropriateness, absolute accuracy, honesty, and just plain fun."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


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.




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.



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."

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Table of Contents

MEET THE BIRD AND THE BEE Do You Know What I Read? 4-5
Begin? 6-7
(2) EGG+SPERM=BABY Reproduction 8-9
(3) SAME AND DIFFERENT Male--Female 10-11
(4) GROWING UP Babies, Kids, Teenagers, Grownups 12-13
(5) WHAT'S INSIDE? WHAT'S OUTSIDE? Female Parts 14-15
(6) WHAT'S INSIDE? WHAT'S OUTSIDE? Male Parts 16-17
(7) THE AMAZING EGG TRIP What Do Eggs Do? 18-21
(8) THE AMAZING SPERM TRIP What Do Sperm Do? 22-25
(9) WHAT'S SEX? Female or Male--Loving--Making Love--Making
a Baby 26-29
(10) WHAT'S LOVE? Lots of Kinds of Love 30-33
(11) THE BIG RACE! Sperm and Egg Meet 34-39
(12) A WARM AND COZY WOMB Pregnancy 40-45
(13) FRESH FOOD! FRESH AIR! Growing and Staying Healthy 46-49
(14) STRETCH! PUNCH! KICK! HICCUP! BURP! The Growing Fetus 50-53
(15) TWINS AND MORE! Twins, Triplets, Quadruplets,
Quintuplets 54-55
(17) WHAT MAKES YOU--YOU! Chromosomes and Genes--And Other
Things, Too! 62-63
(18) BECOMING A FAMILY By Birth--ByAdoption 64-67
(19) KEEPING SAFE "Okay Touches"--"Not Okay Touches" 68-71
(21) GURGLES AND DROOLS Feelings about Babies--Fun with
Babies 74-75
(22) LET'S CELEBRATE! Happy Birth Day! Happy Adoption Day! 76-77
IT'S SO AMAZING! Still Talking! 78
INDEX 80-81
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