Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mummy Laid an Egg by Babette Cole

How I've managed to get to my age without having read this book (particularly since I used to work in the children's department of a book shop) I'll never know, but I'm so glad I finally did.

A couple of weeks ago, my 7-year-old, Harry, asked me "How did you make Joe?" "Same way as I made you," I replied, dodging the question since we were in the queue at M&S at the time. "But how?" he said. "Well it's a bit of Daddy and a bit of Mummy and that makes a baby." "Yes, but HOW?"

Eep. I told him it was complicated and we'd look it up when we got home. I use the wonderful BrainPOP for the many and varied questions I can't answer, but BrainPOP didn't have the answer for me this time either. There's a video supporting the 'bit of mummy and daddy' concept, but - perhaps unsurprisingly - not the HOW.

Probably as a result of my panic at having been asked the question, I completely failed to consider a book on the subject, but thankfully my friends are a lot smarter than me and instantly recommended Mummy Laid an Egg. After reading the reviews I could hardly wait to read it myself, never mind Harry.

And I wasn't disappointed. It's WONDERFUL. The premise is that the parents decide it's time to tell the children how babies are made. They tell them that babies can be grown from seeds, hatched out of eggs, squeezed out of tubes and a few other entertaining suggestions. The children think this is hilarious and say, "You were nearly right about the SEEDS, the TUBE and the EGG." And then they do some drawings to show their parents how babies are really made.

The drawings show where the seeds come from and how they get from daddy to mummy ("Here are some ways mummies and daddies fit together") in the most hilarious - and hilariously unrealistic* - way. I think it's a perfect way to introduce the idea of sex to children - it's not graphic or scary, it's joyful and funny. I laughed out loud when I first saw these two pages and totally expected Harry would too. He did not. I got to the end of the book and said, "So. What do you think?" "That's crazy talk," he said. Fair enough.

* At least I'm pretty sure doing it on a Spacehopper or skateboard is unrealistic. Unless I've been missing out all these years.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds fantastic. I'm going to have to get a copy as I've started getting *those questions*.