It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families

By Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley; Candlewick; 1999; pp 80

Plot: Imagine finding every answer to every question a child could have about his or her body and where babies come from in one book. That’s what “It’s So Amazing!” provides in a friendly easy-to-read and understand comic book format. This book covers everything from arousal to zygotes and in between—ejaculation, masturbation, menstruation, intercourse, circumcision and foreskin, condemns, homosexuality, etc. Literally, no stone is left unturned. The authors present answers to the perennial question, “Where to babies come from?” in a humorous and nonjudgmental format that explains how the sperm and egg rendezvous, pass in the night like two ships (menstruation), and how a baby develops and exits the birth canal.

Genre: Non-fiction

Reading Level: Ages 7 and up

Review: OK, I learned about this book by listening to the Dan Savage “Savage Love” podcast. The guest, a therapist, recommended that the birds and the bees talk be given much earlier these days and I suddenly felt very prudish for having discussed very little with my fourth-grade daughter, who was already asking what “humping” and sex are. (Then I remembered the awkward sex education class (hour) that my teachers and classmates suffered through in fifth grade.) Maybe Dan Savage and his guest were right: I should be more pre-emptive. This book was fabulous. Talk about an icebreaker. It does dance around intercourse and leave a little bit to the imagination in that regard, but it is a bit too instructive with regard to masturbation (really, can’t we leave some things to self-discovery?). My experience with this book is that some sections may be too informative for the younger readers. The section on love—parental, friends, boy-girl, sibling, and homosexual—were awesome. Readers will definitely feel good about their bodies and the changes they are undergoing. This book should be required reading for anyone going through puberty.

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