Nonfiction Wednesday: What Makes a Baby?

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2016 is a weekly celebration of imaginative children’s nonfiction materials hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy.


What Makes a Baby?

Oh, the million-dollar question that can give adults everywhere anxiety attacks – “where do babies come from?” Many picture books on the subject of reproduction talk about sex, which is a very important topic to discuss with children, but which isn’t always a factor in the baby-making process. Babies are the result of a collision between sperm and egg, and this miraculous collision can occur with or without sexual intercourse between a male and a female. Some children are born to a biological mother and father with the help of IVF, while other babies are conceived to same-sex families through donor eggs or sperm, IVF and/or or surrogates. Just as families come in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms, babies are created in many different ways.

Brought to you by the same team behind the inclusive, sex-positive sex ed book Sex is a Funny WordWhat Makes a Baby is “a book for every kind of FAMILY and every kind of KID”. It’s a great starting point for discussions on reproduction, sex, and childbirth, providing the basic framework of information, and allowing caregivers to customize their discussions. Just as in Sex is a Funny Word, the characters in What Makes a Baby come in a variety of candy colours, and are largely externally without gender, making for a truly diverse and inclusive text.

This is a particularly helpful picture book for same-sex families, as it gives their conception stories the same weight, worth and importance as those of other families, and doesn’t make their stories feel like exceptions to the any rule, uncommon, or unusual. Conception is the same process, no matter how the egg and sperm end up meeting, or how they are introduced.

What Makes a Baby? is a fantastic starting point for discussions of conception and birth, and is a worthwhile addition to any collection.

#IMWAYR – July 18, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

So many picture books, so little time!! I’ve got another pile of illustrated stories to share with you on the blog this week, some new, and some just new to me. I really like sharing a mixture of bright, shiny new picture books as well as those that might have flown under the radar a bit, or that I think might be hidden gems just waiting to be rediscovered. Having a desk that’s just a few steps from a wall of picture book shelves certainly makes my writing life easier – all I have to do is close my eyes and pull out a handful of books, and I’m pretty much guaranteed to find at least a few great titles!

Here’s what I’ve got coming up on the blog this week:


  • A picture book perfectly suited for Vancouverites like myself (it is summer, isn’t it?)…..


Fred Forgets

  • A cheeky little monkey has a bit of fun at the expense of his forgetful elephant friend, but the good times won’t last forever….


What Makes a Baby

  • A thoroughly modern “where does a baby come from?” book that recognises that not all baby stories start with “when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much”….

Highgate Rise

On the grown-up reading front, I’m currently working my way through my first Anne Perry novel, a murder mystery set in Victorian England. Thomas Pitt is a police inspector, and Charlotte Pitt is his wife, who assists him with his cases (though not always with his blessing). I haven’t finished this one yet, but I’m really quite enjoying it. The historical setting feels very real, and the murder plot is engaging, as Thomas and Charlotte pursue two very different possible paths of deduction. I don’t think I’ve figured out who is the murderer is yet, but I do have my suspicions!

Have a great week everybody, and don’t forget to check back in throughout the week for my thoughts on the picture books I shared above!