Author: Lisa Darnell
Illustrator: Bonnie Lemaire
Year published: 2001
Publisher: Lisa Darnell
Number of pages: 24
Recommended age: 2+
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★☆
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary (from back cover): My Mommy’s Water Balloon is a delightful whimsical story that explains pregnancy to children and satisfies their inquisitive nature. The story provides concepts that small children can understand, while making the real connections to the beautiful process of pregnancy.
What it’s about: This book is about a boy with a giant head. His Mommy is having a baby.
What I liked and disliked about: I liked how the boy had a giant head – it was funny. I learned about how babies grow in Mommies’ tummies. I liked the pictures – especially the pictures showing him with a big head. The slide in the picture of the baby being born looks like fun. I liked that I could color the water balloon.
My bottom line: I liked everything about this book and I would recommend it to kids five years old and younger.
What it’s about: My Mommy’s Water Balloon is a wonderful tool for sharing information with young children about pregnancy and birth.
What I liked and disliked about it: I read My Mommy’s Water Balloon to be my children and we all really enjoyed it immensely. Many books geared to children who have a sibling on the way are focused on what life will be like once the new baby arrives. This is one of the fewer books focused on explaining pregnancy and birth to young children. As with many things in life, some things are best explained through the use of an analogy. In this case, it totally works. I think comparing pregnancy to a water balloon is very clever.
The illustrations in the book are beautiful. They are all watercolour. The kids and I laughed when we saw the broccoli heading down the umbilical cord – I guess that would be the best way to illustrate the importance of nutrition in pregnancy. Of note is that the little boy in the book is drawn with an unusually large head (as noted above by my son!). For whatever reason, we were completely amused by this – maybe it reminded us of Dora the Explorer’s head which also isn’t drawn in proportion to her body. Anyways – we LOVED it! I also like the funky, kid-friendly font that was used.
At the back of the book, there are a couple of pages which are interactive. One page provides the child an opportunity to colour their mommy’s water balloon (pink for a girl, blue for a boy) and on the opposite page, a picture of the ultrasound can be inserted. The following two pages asks four questions about mommy’s nutrition, due date, baby names, and caring for the baby. These provide the child with a concrete way to become involved in the process. I thought these were a great addition to the book.
A couple of issues did come up. First, this is not a problem so much as a reaction I had – the birth itself (after the balloon ‘pops’) was compared to a baby coming ‘down a water slide called the birth canal’. Inside my head I was thinking, “Oh, I wish!” lol The second is that there is a sentence mentioning God. I do not personally have an issue with this and thought it was a beautiful conclusion to the book, but some other people may take issue with this so I have to mention that there is a reference to God.
My bottom line: I think this is a great little book that parents can use to answer their children’s questions about pregnancy and birth, but I do think it’s for relatively young children (although older children would enjoy it too). I recommend this book to parents and children aged 2 to 5.
** My Mommy’s Water Balloon by Lisa Darnell was provided to us free-of-charge by the author. **
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