Susan M. Tarrant’s WoW! What a Trip! is a lovely tool for moms, dads, aunts, uncles, or grandparents to share with future siblings.
An innovative story for expectant parents to share with young children, Susan M. Tarrant’s WoW! What a Trip! follows the progress of an embryo from the moment of conception through birth. The book will support adults in facilitating open discussions with soon-to-be big brothers or sisters while sharing the joy, love, and excitement of welcoming a new baby to the family.
Illustrations from Susan Lavalley employ warm pastels and soft lines to focus on the development of the newest little one. Each full-color spread marks fetal growth milestones while showing glimpses of the family and home alongside Mom’s belly. An eager older child helps prepare for the arrival, while baby discovers the umbilical cord, fingers, and toes, and wonders over sounds and sensations.
Told from within the womb, the story’s tone is more whimsical than scientific. The brief text is full of musings such as “I wonder what my name will be.” Aside from some fun comparisons—ranging from “I’m the size of a jelly bean” at two months to “a tall glass of milk” at five months or, humorously, a “tiny dog” at nine months—there are not any prenatal details or specifics about delivery. The focus is instead on transitioning siblings into their new role. The language and interest level are appropriate for a target audience of lower-elementary-school children, and will be ideal for ages two through six.
Meant to function as a springboard for more in-depth and open conversations rather than as a complete birth answer book, there are ample opportunities for children to ask questions, and an index of suggested dialogues is included for each represented milestone. For example, following “I hear lots of sounds,” a mom or dad might comment that “our baby really likes hearing all different noises like us talking or laughing or listening to music,” and then prompt brother or sister to say something directly to the baby. This also gives adults immense flexibility in answering questions, allowing them to respond in a manner most appropriate for their beliefs and best suited for the maturity level and needs of their children.
At the end of the book, additional pages are labeled for the purpose of attaching family photographs and recording memories and reactions to save as a keepsake. WoW! What a Trip! is a lovely tool for moms, dads, aunts, uncles, or grandparents to share with young people, introducing them with care and attention not only to the concept of growing a baby but to the importance of their relationship as older siblings as well.
Pallas Gates McCorquodale
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