________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number . . . .June 19, 2015


Where Do Babies Come From? Our First Talk About Birth. (Just Enough: Difficult Topics Made Easy).

Jillian Roberts. Illustrated by Cindy Revell.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2015.
32 pp., hc., pdf & epub, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0942-0 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0943-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0944-4 (epub).

Subject Heading:
Human reproduction-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Harriet Zaidman.

Reviewed from F&Gs.

**** /4


Nature has given every living thing a way to make a baby.

But where do all those babies come from?

Babies come from their mothers’ bodies. When a woman has a baby growing inside of her, she is said to be pregnant or expecting a baby.


internal artEducating children about the act of reproduction is a controversial issue. Is it the responsibility of the parent alone, or does the educational system have the obligation to make sure children understand the physical aspect of conception, irrespective of religious interpretations or cultural attitudes? Should parents have the right to pull their children out of classes when reproduction is being taught?

     It’s a controversy that raises its head whenever schools decide to make the teaching more explicit or introduce more information to children at a younger age. But whether children learn about reproduction from their parents or at school, a book that gently explains the mechanics of sex and conception can assist the adult delivering the information.

     Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist and an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Victoria. This is the first book of the “Just Enough” series, and Roberts has also developed psycho-educational apps for Apple and Android devices about psychological and social/emotional issues facing children and teenagers.

     Fulfilling its stated intention, Where Do Babies Come From? offers young children just the right amount of information for their age level. Adorably illustrated by Governor-General Literary Award nominee Cindy Revell (A Button Story, A Pebble Story, Room Enough for Daisy and more), the question and answer format reflects the questions children usually have about reproduction. The contemporary, colourful illustrations complement the text, showing couples embracing (while wearing pyjamas!) and people of different races. The illustrations also show humour:

When the baby is born, the umbilical cord falls off and leaves a belly button.

Look, you have a belly button too!

     The children in the picture are all proudly showing off their navels. Similarly, a child wondering “How long does it take to grow a baby?” is sitting watching a clock that displays 9:00.

     The back page is entitled “Just a Few More Questions” and has more explicit details about sex. Robert’s writing is accessible and precise. An adult would be well-served to read directly from the text to a child to make them understand what appears to be a mysterious process.

     Where Do Babies Come From? will be a welcome, useful and soon well-worn addition to a home or school collection.

Highly Recommended.

Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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