What's in There?: All About Before You Were Bornby Robie H. Harris, Nadine Bernard Westcott (Illustrator)
Gus and Nellie have some exciting news: there’s going to be a baby in their family! Join them through the seasons as they watch their mother’s pregnancy with/b>
Continuing her series for preschoolers, New York Times best-selling author Robie H. Harris follows the stages of pregnancy and childbirth in a matter-of-fact and comfortable way.
Gus and Nellie have some exciting news: there’s going to be a baby in their family! Join them through the seasons as they watch their mother’s pregnancy with fascination and curiosity while awaiting the birth of their new baby sibling. Combining accessible, humorous, and accurate illustrations; conversations between the two siblings; and a factual text, here is the ideal book to help young children understand that the way a growing baby develops inside a woman’s body, and how a baby is born, are both perfectly normal and totally wonderful.
PreS-Gr 1—Nellie and Gus and their parents are expecting a new baby. In simple and clear language, Harris describes the pregnancy. With the family's daily routine as the backdrop, she explains that babies start out as just a few cells about the size of a pencil dot, continue to grow throughout nine months, and are finally ready to be born when they're around the size of a watermelon. Correct names for male and female anatomy are used throughout. The illustrations depict the passing seasons as the baby begins to grow and develop in utero. Westcott's illustrations are digitally produced, and a cut-away view of Mom's abdomen shows the baby's general growth during the interim. The text explains the changes the baby goes through; soon it can hear, grow hair, suck its thumb, etc. Before long, the big day comes and Gus and Nellie welcome their new brother. This book is suitable for young children who are just beginning to ask the question, "Where do babies come from?" Inquiring minds wishing for more information regarding conception and fertilization will need to look at the myriad other books on reproduction. However, What's in There? is a good first book to recommend to parents.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
The third installment in the Let's Talk About You and Me series finds Harris back where adults expect to find her--discussing the human body for the youngest set. Gus and Nellie's mom is having a baby. The sibling pair from Who Has What? (2011) and Who's in My Family? (2012) could not be more excited. But of course they have plenty of questions, too. Harris admirably begins by stressing that the baby is not growing inside mommy's tummy but in her uterus. ("The uterus is just below a girl's or woman's tummy and is very soft and stretchy.") Each spread represents a month of the pregnancy, but the passage of time is subtly hidden within Westcott's cheery illustrations, rather than as a defined calendar counting down the days. Mommy can also be seen to be growing larger, with the fetus varying in size from a pencil-point dot to a watermelon. Amid the simple facts of development, Harris includes extra tidbits aimed squarely at the curiosities of child readers--the baby starts out with a tail! It pees a little inside the womb! However, the mention of how the baby was actually made is kept purely at a cellular level; adults may welcome the freedom to fill in that gap as they see fit. Clear, direct and anatomically correct; an excellent entryway for the many anticipated questions about childbirth. (Informational picture book. 2-6)
Meet the Author
Robie H. Harris is the trusted and highly acclaimed author of numerous books for children, including It’s Perfectly Normal, It’s So Amazing!, and It’s NOT the Stork!, essential guides for children on bodies, babies, families, and health. She lives in New York City.
Nadine Bernard Westcott is the illustrator of more than a hundred books, including the first two books in the Let’s Talk About YOU and ME series. She lives in Massachusetts.
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