Saturday, February 8, 2014

Noortje : dochter van een Bewust Alleenstaande Moeder

Noortje : dochter van een Bewust Alleenstaande Moeder
by Simone Scholtens
Language: Dutch
[Zwolle] : Bergboek, 2013.
27 p. : ill. ; 16x16 cm.
ISBN: 9789491186165 9491186167
My annotation: Noortje: the daughter of a conscious single mother is the beginning of a story of a mom who had her child via a known donor. Noortje lives in a big house with a cat that is currently pregnant with kittens. Because the cat’s belly is getting bigger, Noortje's questions begin. She asks her mom, "Mom, was I in your belly when I was a baby?" Yes her mom tells her. Noortje then asks, "How did I get in your belly?" That’s when her mom begins to tell her how babies are made with the egg of a mommy and the seeds of a daddy. But Noortje is confused at first because she only has a mom and no dad. Noortje has a “donor” though, her mom tells her, who gave his “seeds” to mom so that mom could have the baby she wanted so very much. Noortje’s mom explains to her that when seeds and eggs meet, babies begin to grow. Mom tells Noortje that she knows the donor, but does not explain how, who he is, or why she used a donor, so these details are left out. However, this book is just the beginning of the story and was written specifically for this child by this mother. It is presumed that Noortje is still very young and has only just begun to ask these questions so the story provides just enough information to satisfy her questions at this point. In this story, the donor actually comes to see Noortje after she is born and is “speechless” at what a beautiful baby she is. At the end, "Mama was very happy that the donor had given his seeds because now she had the sweetest baby in the world." Other than “donor,” and "seeds" and "eggs," no other terminology is introduced. The book takes a family-building approach even though the word family is never used. This is because Noortje’s conception is not heavily emphasized in the book but rather, how she came to be a part of this mother-child twosome is what is highlighted. This book employs “the helper” script. Noortje’s mom is the illustrator of the book and her illustrations are well-drawn black and white pencil illustrations against a colored watercolor background. The book is recommended for children ages 3-5 and is only available in Dutch.
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