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babies

Mama’s Milk

mama's milk coverI’m Made of Mama’s Milk
Olsen
2001

Submitter: Okay, it’s probably not nice to pick on self-published works. Also, breastfeeding-positive books are in short supply in many library collections, so it has that going for it.  However, the soft-focus photographs with the weird photo-shopped backgrounds, combined with some not particularly inspired poetry (“Mama’s love is so very fine. / Her touch is gentle, her words are kind. / And her precious food straight from the heart / Is giving my life such a great start!”) make for a pretty awful library book.  It had not circulated within the three years dictated by our public library’s weeding schedule, so away it goes!

Holly: It’s a nice, feel-good book for children that normalizes breastfeeding. I don’t have any real beef with the book itself. The picture of the child in the bathtub worries me a little bit – mom gets drowsy and baby drowns face-down in the tub and a beautiful photo goes horribly wrong. I agree that the quality of the photos and the poetry could use some polishing as well. An editor at a publishing house would have helped. This one’s just “meh” for me. Old enough to weed without hurting anyone’s feelings, probably.

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Making Babies

Making Babies coverMaking Babies: An Open Family Book for Parents and Children Together
Stein
1974

Submitter: I weeded this 1970s gem from a community college where I work. Thankfully, despite its picture book status, it was not cataloged in JUV with all the other picture books. My boss refused to weed anything where the information was still applicable, but I felt this one had to go. Now, for the era, I am sure this was a huge break-through compared to telling kids lies about storks and cabbage patches. And I like the concept of a book to help adults talk to their kids about these concerns at that curious age. However, all those naked children…just too hippy for me. And the cats and dogs…

Holly: I like the idea of this book. It gives a story to read to the child coupled with extra ideas of things to say or ways to present the concept to the child, meant for the adult. I also like the correct use of terminology. I’ve edited out the genitalia in the pictures here with little pink butterflies  (Sorry. It’s not a personal statement; just a courtesy for our potentially less-comfortable readers). The book does, indeed, have lots of naked children!  Mostly, this particular copy, which Submitter mailed to me, is old.  It’s ratty, the binding is on its last legs, and the cover art is all scruffed up. While I doubt children would notice what the woman in the picture below is wearing, it definitely dates the book (and the book is for adults as much as for children, if it’s truly an “open family book” to be read “together” as the subtitle indicates. I’ll spare you the picture of the cat giving birth and the one of the dogs humping. You’re welcome. Perfectly natural, of course, but…quite graphic.

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What’s In a Name?

40,001 Best Baby Names
Stafford
2003

Submitter: Baby name books can provide for hours of fun and a whole variety of drinking games. I love them as much as the next 27-year-old single librarian. But like any good thing, even baby name books can go bad. This one has gone as bad as that carton of cream you left in the back of your fridge. Hilarious in its breadth of pigeon-holing children and marginally offensive in how it tries to get you to pre-define your kids, this book might not be “the very best baby name book ever”.

Holly: This book has some seriously weird lists.  I wouldn’t necessarily weed it…but I wouldn’t necessarily have BOUGHT it, either!

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