LAB: o planeta que fabricava bebês
by Kátia Maria Straube
illus. by Eliane Cássia Ramos
Curitiba, Brazil: Expoente, 2010.
28 p. : col. ill.
My annotation: Lab: the planet that made babies was written by a psychologist and psychotherapist who works in the field of assisted human reproduction in Brazil. It was one of two children's books on ART published simultaneously in Brazil in 2010 and was one of the first to be published out of that country. It is the story of a planet in the “Test Tube Galaxy” where there are many unhappy couples because they cannot have children and so the population of the planet increases only slightly from year to year. Wondering what the problem is, the scientists on the planet begin to investigate exactly how babies are made and they discover that it is the cells of men and the cells of women that produce babies when they come together. (The way they come together naturally is not discussed). But why does it not work for some couples? The answer is complicated but they discover that they can invent ways for the cells to come together artificially. One way is through artificial insemination and the other is through in vitro fertilization. Thus these two methods are the ones discussed in the book (although egg donation is touched upon slightly later in the book). Because the term family is mentioned so many times, and because the conception of specific children in a specific family is not mentioned, this book takes a family-building approach and employs the “nuts and bolts” script. Even though the "nuts and bolts" of sex are not discussed, the "nuts and bolts" of these two methods of assisted reproduction are. Because this book is slightly less complicated than the second book in the series in that it mentions only two ART techniques, it is recommended for children ages 3-5. This is the first book in the “LAB” series by Kátia Maria Straube. The full-color cartoon illustrations are professionally rendered and it is currently only available in Portuguese.