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Mummy Laid An Egg!


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About the Author

Babette Cole was born in Jersey in the Channel Islands. She graduated from Canterbury College of Art in 1973 and was the illustrator and author of more than 150 witty, imaginative, irreverent and thought-provoking picture books for children including the bestselling, stereotype-defying Princess Smartypants. She produced animated storyboards for the BBC and illustrated numerous greetings cards and books by other authors as well as her own. Babette adored the countryside and was a keen horse rider and breeder. She spent much of her life in Lincolnshire, before moving to Kent and then westward through Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.


Cole ( Supermoo ) unleashes her endearingly loony sense of humor on the subject of the birds and the bees, and the result is, as expected, hilarious. When a thoroughly befuddled set of '90s parents (he wears his gray hair in a ponytail, she wears Birkenstocks) decides to inform their offspring how babies are made, their explanations (babies are grown from seeds, made out of gingerbread, squeezed from tubes like toothpaste, brought by dinosaurs) are greeted with an explosion of giggles. Their children quickly grab paper and pen and proceed to set the record straight. Cole's drawings and simple text are candid without being offensive and, without getting terribly complicated or serious, communicate the essentials of conception and childbirth in a direct but light-hearted manner that will leave everyone grinning and no one embarrassed. As always, Cole's idiosyncratic, cartoon-style illustrations are a treat--and her renditions of greenhouse babies and baby-paste tubes are outrageously funny. All ages. (June)

PreS-Gr 2-Someone laid an egg here, but it wasn't Mommy. What begins as an amusing premise gets waylaid along the way. Mom and Dad offer their kids twists on the old clichés about the birds and the bees. The children are wildly amused, and decide to teach their parents the facts of life, illustrated with their own crayon drawings. In the explanation, Mothers have eggs inside their bodies, while daddies have "`seeds in seed pods outside their bodies. Daddies also have a tube. The seeds come out of the pods and through the tube. The tube goes into the mommy's body through a hole.'" On a double-page spread, a line is drawn from Dad's penis to an opening in Mom, labeled ``This fits in here.'' On the next page readers are shown some ways moms and dads fit together, copulating on a skateboard, hanging from balloons, etc. The ``crayon'' drawings are crude, but everyone gets the picture. Fertilization and birth follow. The cartoon characters and watercolored line drawings are vibrant and amusing-dad's gray hair is in a ponytail, while mom is a blonde earth-mother type. The kids are messy replicas of their parents. Joanna Cole's How You Were Born (Morrow, 1993) still sets the standard; this effort doesn't measure up.-Denise L. Moll, Lone Pine Elementary School, West Bloomfield, MI

"Excellent and fun" -- Dr Tanya Byron * The Times *

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