Submitter: This book was recently weeded from [a] Community Library in [Wisconsin]. Not only is it falling apart and thirty years old, but it is also a childbirth guide featuring cartoon chickens. I mean, come on! Imagine the meetings in which this book seemed like a good idea!
Lamaze is for Chickens: A Guide to Prepared Childbirth, is so ridiculous I removed it from the shelf the immediately! Imagine a childbirth guide with cartoon chickens representing real women – a chicken packing a bag for her trip to the hospital – except, there are also vivid close up black and white images of real childbirth! You don’t want to leave it lying around where the cartoonish cover art may attract unsuspecting children…yikes!
Holly: The title makes it sound like lamaze is for weaklings who are afraid of childbirth, like it is somehow laughable that a woman would want to consider it. I don’t think that’s what they intended, so the title is unfortunate. Also…chickens?
Submitter: This book came from a small public library. We discovered it while deep weeding our children’s collection. The book is intended to be used by parents to teach children how a child is born through photographs and simple text. While the text is simple, the photographs are rather traumatic and confusing. I’m not sure what age the book is intended for and young children would not understand the pictures. The pictures are black and white and out of focus. The picture of the father in the waiting room “dragging” on a cigarette did make me laugh with the accompanying text. I feel terrible for the woman in labor in the pictures and I’m grateful most women do not have to be rigged up to some kind of medieval torture device and forced to work against gravity to bring her baby into the world. A hospital birth has certainly changed since this time. Fathers are often in the delivery room and the birth experience is not quite like this anymore. The last circulation dates were from the year 2000 and 1988. Should have been weeded long ago. BTW, at least one of these pictures is not safe for work.
Holly: Books like this can be beautiful and helpful and useful. This just looks old and a bit scary.
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.