K and I were very excited when we saw a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publishing of an inclusive book that would teach children about reproduction. Below is a description of the project, in the words of the author, Cory Silverberg:
What Makes a Baby is my response to the fact that books about where babies come from leave many of us out. They tell a nice story (mommy + daddy + intercourse = you!) but the truth is that more and more of us are acknowledging the help we get to bring children into our lives. That help might be a doctor, fertility clinic, adoption or foster agency; it might be a turkey baster and a friend; it might be a sperm donor or a surrogate. What Makes a Baby helps parents tell children a story about where they came from that isn’t just true for them, but true for everyone.
Crafted for children roughly from pre-school to 8-years-old, What Makes a Baby is written and illustrated to include all kinds of kids, all kinds of adults, and all kinds of families – regardless of how many people were involved, what the orientation, gender identity, or other make up of the family is, or how it came to be that way. It’s a social justice approach to sex education. Like all picture books, it’s meant to be read to a child and gives the adult reader the opportunity to fill in as much detail as they would like.
What’s not to love about this project? As a transguy who is the gestational parent and a queer woman who is an adoptee and non-gestational parent of Falco, K and I are obviously going to one day need to answer the question of our children’s conception and we plan to teach them about this in inclusive and age-appropriate ways. What Makes a Baby, written by certified sexuality educator Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth, seemed like a logical and exciting resource for young kids, and we happily backed the project at the “Flash Mobber” level, which came with the benefit of receiving a first edition, hard-cover copy of the book.
We were elated when the Kickstarter campaign exceeded their funding goal and even more so when we received our copy of the book. It is vibrantly colorful and appropriately addresses the concept of conception and birth for young children.
Cory Silverberg accurately professes that What Makes a Family is “a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid.” I personally loved that the people all appear to be happy, gender neutral beings and that the language follows suit with treasured sentiments like, “Not all bodies have sperm in them. Some do, and some do not.” Silverberg includes questions such as, “Who was waiting for you to be born?” which leaves room for caregivers to provide additional or personalized information about the child and family’s stories, and to celebrate the unique ways in which families come together.
In a nutshell, K and I love this book and can’t wait to read it to our little Falco. We hope you’ll consider purchasing What Makes a Baby to read to the children in your life!