Mom, Johnny said I grew in a test tube!?: a guide to assist parents in explaining technological conception
by Barbara Ann M. Messina, Ph.D.
illus. by Judith Gluck
Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance Publishing Co., 2004
32 p. : ill. ; 16 x 23 cm.
My annotation: This book reads and looks more like a pamphlet. The author, with a Ph.D. in nursing, had her own child via in vitro fertilization and has written this book to help explain IVF to her daughter. The book aims to reassure children that all babies begin the same way - when egg and sperm meet - and that it does not matter how the baby grows initially. In addition to providing a detailed description of how scientists get the sperm and egg to meet in a petri dish, the author does use the term “test tube” babies to inform children that some people refer to children this way who were conceived this way. The author also briefly discusses surrogacy, again introducing the term “surrogate babies” but like she does with “test tube” babies, quickly dismissing it as a short-handed, even lazy, way for people to describe babies who were born to surrogate mothers. Although the title says its a “guide to explaining technological conception,” there is no discussion of sperm, egg, or embryo donation. This book takes a child-conception approach and employs the “nuts and bolts” script. Even though there is no discussion of sexual intercourse, there is quite a detailed discussion of the nuts and bolts of IVF. There are black and white pencil illustrations and the book is recommended for children ages 8-12.