Monday, April 6, 2009

Let me explain : a story about donor insemination

HQ761 .S36 1995
Let me explain : a story about donor insemination 
by Jane T. Schnitter
illustrated by Joanne Bowring 
Language: English 
Indianapolis, Ind. : Perspectives Press, ©1995. 
32 p. : ill. ; 27 cm.
ISBN: 0944934129; 9780944934128
My annotation: Written for older children, this book explains the concept of donor insemination. The story is narrated by a fictional little girl who herself was conceived this way. The book begins with her talking about all the great things she does with her dad and that she loves about her dad and adds, “My mom says my dad and I are two of a kind except for one thing. We don’t look anything alike. And I know why. It’s because we don’t have the same genes.” The little girl then goes on to explain what genes are and where they come from introducing the words sperm and ova and what happens when the sperm and ova get together. “Everybody in the whole world starts out that way...But I don’t have any genes from my dad because I didn’t come from his sperm.” The book asks and answers a series of questions any child might have at this point, from "Whose sperm did I come from?" to “Will I ever meet the donor?” to "Does all this make me different?" to which the book answers, "NO! It doesn't make me any different or any more special than anyone else in the world." This book is quite a gentle description of both donor insemination as well as the love between a father and his child, regardless of how that child got here. “What the whole thing comes down to is this...The sperm came from someone else, but once that wonderful baby started to grow, (Me! Remember?), there was only one dad. My dad. The dad who liked to put his hand on Mom’s tummy and feel me kick. The dad who watched me first sit up, bled when I tried out my first tooth on him, and always caught me when I fell. He still does. After all, he's my dad." The book takes a child-conception approach and employs “the helper” script. There are two tone illustrations and the book is recommended for children ages 8-12. Although this book is out of print and the publisher is no longer in existence, it is still available in bookstores specializing in used and out of print books.

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