Babette Cole is a children's writer who's irreverent humour knows no bounds, I am not sure that there are any sticky subjects out there that she has not tackled in print. We first encountered her through such classics as Princess Smartypants and Prince Cinders, books that mock gender stereotypes by turning them on their heads. We did briefly encounter Drop Dead, old people telling their grandchildren about ageing and dying and of course Dr Dog, who deals with the delights of nits, worms and flatulence (toilet humour always goes down well):But today's real delight is Mummy Laid an Egg, a classic of the 'where do babies come from' genre. I bought this book thinking it might be a good way to introduce the subject in a light hearted way, but the first time I read this to my children I got absolutely no reaction, it was just another story to them. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever did have that conversation properly, maybe it's something I should tackle soon.
Two children are fed some very strange stories by their parents about where babies come from, storks and puppy dog tails feature, also baby plants:
So they decide to explain the truth to their deluded parents and draw some very imaginative pictures of the mechanical process of conception, and then, my favourite page, of the many and varied ways in which mummies and daddies can fit together. I like the fact that she makes no moral judgements of any kind and shows sex as a fun thing rather than the serious 'adult' business it is so often presented as:
The natural consequence of all this space hopper sex is a baby, who grows and then pops out of a smiling mummy to greet the world with a cheerful hello. It's good because really the information does not have to be more complicated than that. It answers the kind of questions that a small child has and doesn't try to impose an agenda.
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