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.
Excellent and fun
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 *