All About Before You Were Born
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrator: Nadine Bernard Westcott

Review Issue Date: August 15, 2013
Online Publish Date: July 31, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 40
Price ( Hardcover ): $15.99
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-7636-3630-2
Category: Picture Books
Series: Let’s Talk About You and Me

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)

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