"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 elementary-school children's interest 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 — newly updated for its fifth anniversary — covers similar territory but with an eye toward younger children's concerns.
About 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."
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."
Table of Contents
|MEET THE BIRD AND THE BEE Do You Know What I Read?||4-5|
|(1) CURIOUS? EMBARRASSED? CONFUSED? So How Do Babies Really|
|(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|
|(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,|
|(16) COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE! Birth||56-61|
|(17) WHAT MAKES YOU--YOU! Chromosomes and Genes--And Other|
|(18) BECOMING A FAMILY By Birth--ByAdoption||64-67|
|(19) KEEPING SAFE "Okay Touches"--"Not Okay Touches"||68-71|
|(20) TALKING ABOUT IT HIV and AIDS||72-73|
|(21) GURGLES AND DROOLS Feelings about Babies--Fun with|
|(22) LET'S CELEBRATE! Happy Birth Day! Happy Adoption Day!||76-77|
|IT'S SO AMAZING! Still Talking!||78|
|THANK YOU SO MUCH!||79|
What People are Saying About This
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.
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.'
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A must for every child's shelf! Smart parents will use a book like this as a starting point for open discussion on sex and sexuality. This book is also a great way for kids to have an alternative to the locker room to get their sex questions answered.
This book was purchased for my kids (ages 7 and 9) and was really good overall to explain the facts of life. However, I could have done without the section on masterbation at this early stage. Just wasn't necessary in a book geared toward younger children.
This is a wonderful book. I bought it a few years ago when my children were 7 & 8 years old--I have a boy and girl. It appeals to the kids in a comic book format, yet it gives very academic information. I let my kids read it with me or alone when they prefer (if they are feeling a little embarrassed for mom to read it with them). I would recommend this highly to open the communciation between you and your chlid.
This book has been wonderful. I needed something to start the sex education talks with my 10-year-old son but couldn¿t find anything that would cover all the aspects I needed and on a level he needed. All the bookstores either carried books for very small children or for teens. I was so happy to finally find this book. I had a book growing up that was similar to this book and remember it to this day as being a great learning tool. I got my son the 7 and older version and feel it is perfect in every way. Theses topics are not the easiest to get into and this book makes it easy to read and answer question with your child.
This is a thoughtful, accessible, thorough book on children's sexuality for young elementary-school aged children and is perfect for parents and children to read together and for children to look at on their own. It is told in comic book format - the main characters are a bird and a bee, one of whom finds the whole subject difficult to talk about. This is much more than the birds and the bees, however. It puts sex into the full context of human development. This book (and the other books in the series that I would recommend just as strongly)was developed with experts in all areas - biology, medicine, religion, education, and human development.
A friend recommended this book to me to open discussion on reproductive facts with my children. She also has a 10 year old boy as well as older girls. My 10 year old read it and it provided additional information to extend our discussion on sexuality. This is a book that he can go back to and read it over or just parts of it. I appreciate the fact that it talks about AIDS and homosexuality in a non-judgemental way. I have a 7 year old daughter that will read this as she gets older. We have discussed that this is a book that they can read at any time but it is something that we not need to share with friends--it is up to their parents to provide this information. I want my children to be educated and comfortable in having this knowledge. This is a book that opens dialogue and is easy for the kids to understand.
I NEEDED A BOOK FOR MY SON. HE WAS ASKING SO MANY QUESTIONS AND I DIDN'T WANT TO SEEM EMBARRASED ABOUT ANSWERING HIM. THE MOMENT I SKIMMED THROUGH THIS BOOK, I KNEW IT WOULD BE PERFECT. IT HAS THE ILLUSTRATIONS THAT CHILDREN COULD RELATE TO. IT EXPLAINED SEX TO HIM IN A VERY RESPECTFUL WAY. IT MENTIONED THE LOVE THAT PEOPLE SHARE AND I'M GLAD THAT WAS A PART OF THIS BOOK.
This is an excellent book for introducing human sexuality and human reproduction to kids. It's written with humor, the drawings are accurate but kid friendly, and the information is provided on an age appropriate level using both accurate body part names and some of the more common terms. I also appreciated the matter-of-fact tone of the various explanations. My kids wanted to smile and be goofy about some of the more sensitive subjects, but the tone helped keep them focused on the information and not on being embarrassed. And reading the book gave me the opportunity to include our family values on the subject.
We were starting to get questions from my 9 year old son that we weren't sure how to answer in an age appropriate way. One of my coworkers recommended this book, and it's perfect. While it gives all the facts, the cartoon presentation kept the tone light. I highly recommend this book, and am considering purchasing the book aimed at ages 4-7 for my 6 year old daughter.
This book is a great resource for parents looking for ways to talk to their children about the human body, reproduction, and the introduction of sexual concepts. The illustrations are very kid friendly and help make a serious subject more approachable. Small parts of the book do include topics that some parents may object to or have differing opinions on. However, the book provides an opportunity to discuss those subjects and whether a parent agrees or disagrees with the point of view in the book. In our household the book is kept in a safe place so that visiting kids don't read it, in case their parents might object. Our children know where it is so they can read it whenever they choose, unless friends are over.
This is well-illustrated book with clear, simple information about the different aspects of sexual reproduction, behavior and puberty. Nicely done! However, I think it is fair to warn conservative-leaning parents that this book tends to lean toward the liberal side of things. If you are squimish of homosexuality, you may want to look elsewhere because this book approaches the subject without flinching and some would argue upholds it as mainstream behavior.
I just got this latest edition. It's terrific. It's very detailed without being 'gross' (there is only a very discrete discussion of the mechanics of sexual intercourse). It is really just perfect. I wish I had read this when I was a preteen/young teen. I enjoyed it myself, even.
It's too bad that political correctness and a totally value-free presentation about abortion makes this book oxymoronic. After describing in detail with excellent graphics and child-friendly cartoon characters how the baby begins to grow in the woman's womb, all of a sudden the baby is forgotten and the authors describe abortion as merely "a medical way to end a pregnancy." The authors also deal with homosexuality in the same politically correct, value-free manner, presenting it to readers as an equally good choice. Parents who want their children to learn about the sacredness and great gift of human sexuality will have to choose another book, and it's too bad because the presentation on the growth of baby in the womb is excellent.