Making More: How Life Begins by Katherine Roy

Published by Norton Young Readers

Summary:  A family that’s expecting a baby is out for a hike, where they see signs of reproduction all around them: a robin building a nest, two snakes mating, a deer with her fawn.  From there, the text and illustrations proceed to an explanation of reproduction that covers all sorts of living things, both animals and plants.  Beginning with the process of fertilizing an egg cell, the story moves to embryonic development, then birth.  There’s information on genes and how they create diversity within a species.  The final gatefold spread shows the human family celebrating their new baby at an outdoor party, with some of the animals from the text visible in the background.  72 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  An outstanding introduction to reproduction with a lot of technical information explained in terms that will be understandable to upper elementary and middle school readers.  The illustrations are excellent as well, celebrating the diversity of life on Earth.

Cons:  I’m sure the pictures of rabbits and snakes mating will cause some in the book censoring world to break into a sweat.

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