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FAMILY : Where Babies Come From


Babette Cole is one of those zany author-illustrators who always does the unexpected. Her latest book is no exception.

Cleverly disguised as a funny book about how babies are conceived and born, "Mommy Laid an Egg! or Where Do Babies Come From?" (Chronicle Books, 40 pages, $13.95) provides some straightforward answers about sex and reproduction.

Don't get nervous. It's the kids who do the instructing.

Ask the mom and dad in this book where babies come from, and they'll tell you that some babies are hand-delivered by dinosaurs. Some are made of gingerbread. Or you grow them from seeds.

And sometimes you find them under stones.

In this particular family, "Mommy laid an egg. It exploded! And you shot out!"

The kids know better.

"Hee hee hee, ha ha ha, hoo hoo hoo," they laugh. "We'll teach you how babies are really made." Using crayons and paper, they draw pictures of male and female bodies and the different ways moms and dads "fit together" so conception can occur.

Cole has fun--while being serious. The book is described as suitable for all ages, but parents of younger children may want to read it first.

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