|The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall.|
Nancy Paulsen Books,
an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group,
Our library bag is incredibly full right now. There are lots of grown-up, YA, and big kid books that all came in at once, and I'm worried about getting to them all. There are tons of picture books, because I requested every new release that interested me. This is one of those picture books, because if it has Sophie Blackall's name on it, I want to see it! We love her in this house as the illustrator of Ivy & Bean, as well as the artist behind some amazing picture books.
For the record, in case you're wondering, no one in our family is expecting a baby, least of all me. After two days of The New Baby, it just seemed logical to follow with this one.
And this book is adorable.
The little boy in the story is having a typical little boy morning, when his parents tell him their big news: they're going to have a new baby.
Well, the little guy is full of questions, but it's time to head to school!
He goes on to ask various people where babies come from. Olive, the teenager walking him to school, tells him that you plant a seed, and it grows into a baby tree. His teacher hurriedly tells him, "from the hospital," before changing the subject. His grandpa was in the hospital recently, so he asks him. Grandpa tells him about the stork. The boy even asks the poor mail carrier, who tells him he thinks babies come from eggs.
Finally, the kiddo asks his mom and dad.
The book explains things in very simple terms, appropriate for a small child. A seed from the dad is planted in an egg inside the mom, and the baby grows there for 9 months until it runs out of room. Sometimes babies are born at home, they say, but usually in a hospital. The little boy realizes that most of the stories were true, in a way: a seed, a hospital, an egg... There's a very sweet punchline involving Grandpa's story. On the last page, there is some very useful advice about answering the most common questions about where babies come from. Very well done.