The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made by Fiona Katauskas, hardback picture book, published by ABC Books in 2015.
This is a cute and comprehensive aid for helping parents explain human reproduction to younger children. It covers basic anatomy, puberty changes, sexual intercourse, IVF, sperm donation, fertilisation, gestation, birth and breastfeeding.
We are very open in our family, with no topic off limits for discussion. We adjust the depth and detail of information as well as our language to suit the kids’ ages, but we never avoid their questions. I’d much rather they hear about some things from us, then get a grossly twisted version on the playground! So The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made really suited us. It provides all of the necessary information respectfully, with appropriate language and a little humour. I have used it with my three younger children when they were each around the age of five. We read it together and I answered any questions they had. They were all engaged and curious.
I really liked the way that gestation is explained, using a fruit analogy along illustrations of the growing baby inside its mother. The kids wanted to know if it actually felt like carrying a watermelon by eight months along. And my son did a wonderful impression of a caesarean birth, where he was the mother behind the sheet having her tummy cut open!
In the Feeding Baby section, the two pictures depict women breastfeeding. This is great, but I would have liked to see a picture of a baby being bottle-fed too. Fed is best, irrespective of whether that is from breast or bottle. (Trying not to rant here, just thinking about how I was made to feel like a failure when my baby needed formula, and I feel strongly that no one should be shamed for feeding their baby milk in whatever form they need).
The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made is suitable for lower primary school children and above. It is best read together!
Orange Animals on the Planet by Baby Professor, children’s non-fiction e-book, published by Speedy Publishing in 2015.
Learn about orange animals all around the globe in this interesting and factual book for children. How many did you already know?
Orange Animals on the Planet is part of the Colorful Animals on the Planet series by Baby Professor. Each book is a discovery of animals of one particular colour.
Each page features a new orange animal with a lovely photograph plus some facts about that animal. A couple of the photos are not as sharp as I expected, but they are still good photos of these wonderfully orange creatures. There are photos on the front cover of a red panda and a goldfish, neither of which are actually included in the book, which I found a little odd. I love red pandas too, so I was a tad disappointed. However, I did learn about some new orange animals, such as the Red River Hog. And I never knew that flamingos came in an orange variety too!
Each fact was a good length for children to absorb. When describing the size of these creatures, most of the facts included metric measurements, and then the Baboon Spider was described in inches. I prefer metric as I am Australian, but either way, it is just best to be consistent throughout.
This is quite a good book for younger children. It is most suited to lower and middle primary school children to read themselves. Younger children can also enjoy this one read to them. I enjoyed Orange Animals on the Planet, and will be looking out for some others in the series.
Big Book of Aussie Dinosaurs by Kel Richards and illustrated by Glen Singleton, hardback non-fiction, 25 pages, published by Scholastic Australia in 2014.
Over the years we have read many dinosaur books, but I think this is the first one exclusively about Australian dinosaurs. It is a clear and simple introduction to this topic, suitable for preschoolers and lower primary school children. It contains facts about each dinosaur, with quirky illustrations on every page. My preschooler liked the carnivores running around with knives and forks. Her favourite dinosaur is Minmi, and she liked that a carnivore’s knife and fork were drawn crumpled from trying to penetrate her hard bony plates.
There is a glossary of Australian dinosaurs at the back of the book with a picture, the full name, phonetic pronunciation and the meaning of the dinosaur’s name. We tried saying all of the names aloud, some of them were quite difficult!
Prefect for all small dinosaur lovers, Big Book of Aussie Dinosaurs deserves a place in any dinosaur book collection!