Book Review: What Makes a Baby

As some of you may or may not know, my wife and I are expecting out first baby in May. As a queer parent-to-be, there have been many moments where I've rolled my eyes at the heteronormatiivity of most baby-related literature and advice, as well as how everything child related is extremely entrenched in cis gendered terms. I don't see why everything has to refer to "mom and dad" or why even my pregnancy apps have to call my baby "him" or "her." And this is why I really enjoyed this little children's book.

What Makes a Baby is a charming picture book that answers children's questions about where babies come from and how they are born in completely gender- and sexuality-neutral terms. Insted of telling the young reader that "women have eggs and men have sperm," it tells kids that some people come with eggs and other with sperm, just like some people have uteruses. It's incredibly refreshing to see things described in terms that don't enforce the gender binary, or talk about conception in terms of gender at all. Fromthere it describes how sperm and egg make a baby and where it grows then comes out.

 

Another great feature of the book is that it recognizes that not everyone is born in the same way and discusses cesarian sections as well as vaginal birth. Similarly, it gives a sketch of what DNA is, though maybe not in the clearest way.

The illustrations are cheerful and colorful, and the whole book emphasizes that no matter who makes a child, that the child is loved and special and all families are great. I'm very happy that I'll be able to have this book on the shelf for when my little babe gets bigger and asks where they came from. Having even one gender-neutral resource is a huge relief, and I hope that this is the beginning of a new trend!

on March 19, 2015