Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Picture book review : How you were born - Monica Calaf & Mikel Fuentes

There can't be many, if any, parents in the world who haven't been asked at some point how they got into their mummy's tummy and, all importantly, how they got out. Even if you're not squeamish or prudish, it's not always easy finding words that are adapted to your child's age.

We received a copy of How you were born by Monica Calaf & Mikel Fuentes which avoids all the issues of Daddy planting a little seed by starting off towards the end of pregnancy. Pierre has obviously been watching too much World Cup - he thought that the women were clutching footballs rather than bit round tummies !

The child-friendly, slightly cartoonish pictures show what is going on on the inside as well as the outside. The texts are short and no-nonsense but do need some extra clarification. Here, for example, "Suddenly, the water that you had been swimming in broke" raised the questions : How does water break? Does it hurt? Where does the water come out? Where does it go? How do you swim without drowning if you're stuck inside a tummy?

The book deals with the idea of a water birth at home but only vaguely mentions the concept of going to hospital as a plan B. As most women give birth in hospital, it may have been more reassuring for little readers to understand why mummy has to disappear off to hospital and what happens to her there.

The moment of the birth itself is dealt with in a slightly poetic way.

Pierre (and Juliette, who was looking on intently) knew about the umbilical cord - they loved watching Baby Boom on TV which shows the events on a real maternity ward - but they didn't know much about the placenta. This raised the amusing comments : Is that the football that they were holding at the start? Has it really got flowers on it?

Pierre had a close look at every page and was absolutely fascinated, even before I read him the text.

His face was an absolute picture at times, especially when he pulled faces and groaned and pretended to be a woman giving birth !

This little google animation shows the whole range of expressions that crossed his face as he discovered the book ! 

It's a great starting point for honest and reassuring explanations of how babies are born, particularly if your children have already seen rather dramatic births on TV dramas. Pierre was fascinated by the idea of having a photo of baby inside the tummy so I've had to promise that I'll show him his ultrasound pictures after school tonight !

Other books in the series are When You Were In My Tummy, Your Daddy & Me and You, Me and The Breast.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £6.99

  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Pinter & Martin Ltd.; 1 edition (23 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780661258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780661254
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 20.4 x 0.4 cm

Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Early Reader book review : Where Are My Lambs? - Francesca Simon

My Little Box of Springtime Stories review

Children's book review : Butterfly and the Birthday Surprise (Fairies of Blossom Bakery)

1 comment:

  1. I think the flower-people-style of illustrations would be totally confusing to my little man. As you say, what about Mums giving birth in the hospital? For many Mums & babies it would be a far cry from reality.