Joanna Cole is the author of the popular Magic School Bus series, I'm a Big Brother, I'm a Big Sister, and many other award-winning books. In Asking About Sex & Growing Up, she provides a reassuring blend of practical guidance and scientific fact for the audience that needs it most. Margaret Miller is a freelance photographer who lives in New York city with her husband and two children. She is the author-photographers of many popular books for children, and the photographer for Ramona: Behind the Scenes of a Television Show, My Puppy Is born, and other books.
PreS-Gr 3-- Appealing new packaging of an old favorite. As in the earlier edition (Morrow, 1984), Cole relates the process of conception and birth in a personalized manner. The text reads as though the author were talking to a child, skillfully integrating the illustrations with the narration. Revisions are slight: ``uterus'' replaces ``womb'' throughout; sentences have been rephrased; paragraphs have been restructured. Parents are told in the introduction that ``Children born by cesarean need to know that theirs is simply another way to be born, and that the important parts of birth . . . are the same.'' All further explanation of the procedure has been omitted. Also left out are the diagrams of the male and female reproductive systems and the comment that ``during labor, your mother had to work hard.'' In all, the changes facilitate the flow of the story and eliminated potentially disturbing topics. Vibrant full-color photos have replaced the original black and white; they depict a variety of families. Diagrams have been watercolored and refined, but with one exception, duplicate those in the original. While several other titles on the topic are currently available, Cole's book continues to set the standard. --Denise L. Moll, Lone Pine Elementary School, West Bloomfield, MI