My Mom’s Having a Baby!: A Kid’s Month-By-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler

I have very little patience for people who freak out about books like this. It’s “a kid’s month-by-month guide to pregnancy.” It’s a nonfiction book for children about how human beings reproduce. Yes, there is going to be mention of the reproductive system.
The negative reviews on Goodreads, as you might assume, are bonkers. They made me laugh, so I have to share part of my favorite one with you:
Nudity: check. Well, I was surprised too, when we went from a description of the “twenty teeny, tiny buds inside his mouth that will become his teeth” and turned the page to find dad and mom in their birthday suits. No, I was more than surprised, I was offended! How dare you just throw that nudity in my face! Surprises in stories are great, but you still have to put a little effort into the suspense building, the lead up, the foreshadowing. You can’t just go from teeth to a description of fallopian tubes. RESPECT THE READER.
Sex education: in a book called “My Mom’s Having a Baby???” Come on! At least warn a person! Talk about out of left field…
Until I finished reading the review, I have to tell you—I honestly thought those two paragraphs were written sarcastically. In fact I still sort of wonder. “Respect the reader”? “Sex education in a book called My Mom’s Having a Baby”?? Yes, sex education is a one-hundred-percent relevant piece of information in a book about pregnancy, and I think the warning came in the subtitle: “A Kid’s Month-By-Month Guide to Pregnancy.” Because you know how people get pregnant? Yes. They have sex.
And for the record, “dad and mom in their birthday suits” = illustrated drawings of nude bodies with body parts diagrammed, like you would find in an anatomy book. I feel like the woman who wrote this review was forgetting the fact that this is a nonfiction book about pregnancy. It’s not a story, and there doesn’t need to be “suspense” (??) or foreshadowing. It’s told from a little girl’s perspective, because that’s what makes it a children’s book. But the content is factual, and if a reader is surprised by that in a nonfiction book, I’m gonna have to say that’s on them.
This is an excellent book for explaining the process of pregnancy to children. Yes, it’s very straightforward (which is, of course, why it’s on the banned books list). It uses words like penisvaginacervix, and testicle. And it does give a very open description of how a baby is made.
Mom says that when a man and a woman love each other so much that they want to make a baby, they lie really close to each other and hug and kiss. All this hugging and kissing feels nice. It makes the man and woman want to get even closer to each other.
The man puts his penis between the woman’s legs and inside her vagina. After a while, a white liquid shoots out of the man’s penis and into the woman’s vagina. The liquid is full of millions of sperm. They swim up the woman’s vagina, through her uterus, and into one of her fallopian tubes. If a sperm and egg join together, nine months later, a new baby will be born!
Many parents aren’t comfortable with that kind of detail on the subject, and if they don’t want their child to read this book, that is absolutely their prerogative. But they don’t get to say that no one can read it. And that’s why we have Banned Books Week.
Published 2005. Fourth most challenged book in 2011.
Reasons challenged: nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
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