Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The pea that was me: a sperm donation story

The pea that was me: a sperm donation story 
written and illustrated by Kimberly Kluger-Bell 
Language: English 
CreateSpace, 2013 
24 p. : ill. ; 22 x 22 cm.
ISBN: 1481157140 ; 97814811157148
My Amazon review: This book is dedicated to "all the miracle children of the world, their courageous parents, and their gracious donors." With an estimated 1 million children conceived via donor sperm since the last century, not enough books have been written about this topic for children. The Pea That Was Me is one that heterosexual parents can use with their children to help explain their use of donor sperm in order to conceive their child. The author also has an egg donor version and will be coming out with two more versions for embryo donation and donor/donor. The pictures are black and white and hand-drawn, and it is narrated by a little girl who explains: "When you put the sperm (from the man), together with the eggs (from the lady), it grows into a tiny pea, inside the lady's tummy." But when things don't work out the way mom and dad would like them to, some "very kind" men can give some of their sperm so that mommies and daddies can become mommies and daddies. The book does not go into any details about human reproduction making this a good book for parents who don't feel ready to talk about sex with their children yet want to start the talk early about their child's donor origins. Nor does the book use big words like "embryo," "fertilization," or "uterus". In fact, the book hints at the use of in vitro fertilization when the book states that the sperm was put together with the egg and then the "tiny pea that was me" was put into mommy's tummy. The author recommends this book for ages 3 and up and I agree. As a librarian who reads, researches, and collects all children's books on assisted reproductive technology, I can recommend this book as a good starting point for parents of young children to begin the process of sharing their child's donor origins with them. 

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