the growth of a baby from conception to birth carefully explained; perfect for soon-to-be older siblings

He will be around the size of a watermelon, roughly 51 centimetres long from head to toe.
— Month 9
9 MONTHS by  Courtney Adamo  and  Esther van de Paal , illustrated by  Lizzy Stewart  – Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2017 ages 2 to 10 years /  picture books  +  nonfiction ,  s.t.e.m. 

by Courtney Adamo and Esther van de Paal, illustrated by Lizzy Stewart – Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2017
ages 2 to 10 years / picture books + nonfiction, s.t.e.m. 


There’s quite a collection of pregnancy/new baby books on my shelves (favourites: this one  and this one) and I’m forever on the lookout for others with a fresh and interesting approach.

This one, 9 Months, is great:

Each month of a pregnancy—from conception to birth—is given a two-page spread that clearly sets out the stages of a baby’s growth.

Eyes and ears have appeared on the face, and the baby can swallow, yawn, and even hiccup!
— Month 3

There’s the time tested means of explaining the size of the fetus: the size of a blueberry at 2 months, an avocado at 4 months—as well as a “How is Mummy feeling?” section on each page. It’s good stuff, because we all know that how Mummy is feeling—or how she's likely to feel—is of paramount importance to older siblings (and their Dads)!

We follow the same Mummy, Dad, and older sibling through the book.

While it's not central to the story, it's good to see that they’re a mixed race family—and there's a charming collection of families of all types at the end.

The information is thoughtfully selected, and there’s a section with a little more depth that would suit older children. It’s not a sex ed book though—there’s no information on the mechanics of sex —making it ideal for young children who are often endlessly fascinated with a growing baby but really not up to caring about how it all got started.

The baby is always referred to “as a ‘he’ throughout the book, but you can of course choose to change him to a ‘she’!” Otherwise there’s careful gender equity: “The doctor or midwife regularly checks the health of the mother … He or she has a special machine …”

A reading hint:

Obviously if you’re expecting a new baby—or will be soon—this is a great book. But it's also really good for learning about pregnancy and growth at any time.

You could take just one section from each month, such as ‘Did you know?’ or “How is Mummy feeling?’ and read it in sequence. That way you’ll get a broad overview and if there is interest you could go back in a more detailed way.

I’m a sucker for a pregnancy or birth book any time, but I do love this one. The information is to-the-point and clear with just enough detail to satisfy curious minds or provide a jumping off point for a more detailed exploration.

And the soft charm of the pictures showing a family growing and adjusting to a new stage of life are full of love and hope and cheer.

Amazon  -  Book Depository

Book Depository has free postage anywhere in the world and great pricing, but Amazon might be cheaper for North American readers.