- Complete Title —It’s So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families
- Publisher – Candlewick Press
- Author – Robie Harris
- Illustrator – Michael Emberley
It was time! The questions were coming, and I was totally unprepared. I had not even one book that explained the “facts of life.” Does every parent think that this time comes far sooner than expected? I sure did!
I did my best to research online and made some book selections from Amazon. A couple of weeks later, I was armed with some top notch books to answer my daughter’s questions about human reproduction. I’ll be reviewing two of the best ones here at The Curriculum Choice.
I am a fan of It’s So Amazing! I’m so glad I bought it despite some of the negative reviews at Amazon. The comic book format is lighthearted and inviting and perfect for my highly visual learner. There’s no scary feeling; instead the emphasis is on the wonder of relationships, conception, and new life. Sexuality is approached from the very age appropriate question, “Where do babies come from?”
Colorful drawings illustrate the book and provide factual diagrams of body parts with quite a dose of humor. For example, the sperm talk as they rush towards the waiting egg. I really like the lively tone. It helped to relieve some of the tension inherent in this delicate topic.
Harris wrote this book to reach children ages seven and up. I handed this to my ten year old daughter to read on her own. At age seven, she would not have been ready for this book, but now at ten, it’s just right. Of course, each family situation is different, so closely preview the book before handing it over to your child. You may find it’s appropriate for your eight year old, or you may feel your ten year old is not yet ready for it. I would place it in the tween category, for children who are beginning to go through puberty and are starting to ask more questions.
The narrators are two mascots – a bird who is fascinated by the topic and a bee who is uncomfortably embarrassed about it. I really appreciate this honest portrayal of how a discussion of sex can make people feel. It can be uncomfortable! And laughing at the bee is a way to laugh at ourselves.
The book has a secular, “value free” perspective. That is, there are no judgments made about a behavior being right or wrong. Things are simply stated as “some people do this; some people don’t.” The value of this kind of book is that there is plenty of room for the parent to offer the family’s value system, sharing truth that isn’t discussed in the book. I didn’t feel anything in the book was offensive to my own Christian faith, so there was nothing I edited from the book. But I did add a lot as far as Biblical perspective. (In two weeks, I’ll review another book that I paired with It’s So Amazing, specifically to add a Christian worldview to our discussion.)
This lively book is written with a sense of humor but also with correct vocabulary. More colloquial terms (pee or poop, for example) are sometimes used to clarify meanings, but there is no profanity or vulgar talk. If you think human reproduction is not something to laugh about, you won’t enjoy this book. You’ll find it silly or possibly even irreverent. But I enjoyed the upbeat tone and colorful, accurate illustrations. I felt it gives just enough detail without being overwhelming for tweens. Be sure to click on some of the links in the Fast Facts section to see some page views.
Possible trouble spots in this book –
- What’s Love section includes a simple explanation of heterosexual and homosexual (“straight,” “gay,” and “lesbian” are also used). These two lifestyles are stated objectively without condoning or condemning.
- Talking About It is a section on HIV and AIDS.
- Keeping Safe discusses sexual abuse– “okay touches and not okay touches” and includes a paragraph on masturbation.