A new baby for the family

family grows

How a Family Grows

This is a photo essay explaining reproduction to kids. This family is expecting a baby and there is a narrative of how this family explains the upcoming birth to the siblings. We featured another of Arthur Shay‘s books about nursing. That book also followed a similar format of following a particular bunch of students as they go through nursing school. They aren’t particularly bad, just outdated.

The first picture below almost had me do a double take. I thought this was some bizarre ice sculpture, and then read the caption about a field trip. I am assuming that the field trip was to a science museum and not some weird cocktail party.

Be sure to take a look at the other photos and text. Unmarried women who have to give their baby up to an orphanage and the selection of babies available for adoption. Note the sad mother saying goodbye to her infant.

Again, the book probably was pretty radical for the time (especially as a book for children). The frank discussion of intercourse, contraception and the photo from the delivery room sets this book ahead of it’s time. Not 50 years ahead, but ahead.



  1. I hope no child picks this up and thinks, “Oh, no! Aunt Jane has to give away her baby? I thought she said I was getting a new cousin.”

  2. With today’s politics of competition, even this book’s contents would be manipulated. I recall in high school (Catholic) religion class consisted of limited sex ed: only cisgender heterosex. How children are conceived and with the disclamer: don’t do it! At least they didn’t come out right to say “Abortion is wrong”, but now 40 years later there are “pro-life” groups for the high schoolers and yet JROTC and ROTC are still going strong: natural birth until pro-war natural death….
    ….which brings me to Jacques PrĂ©vert’s poem: In Family

    The mother knits, the son is at war
    It seems completely natural to the mother
    And the father, what does the father do?

    He does business
    His wife knits
    The son is at war
    He – business

    It seems completely natural to the father
    And the son, the son?
    What does he think, the son?
    He doesn’t think anything… the son

    The son,
    His mother knits
    His father does business
    He is in the war

    When the war is over
    He will do business with his father
    The war continues, the mother continues knitting
    The father continues doing business

    The son is killed… he doesn’t continue
    The father and the mother go to the cemetery
    They find it quite natural, the father and the mother
    Life goes on,
    Life knitting, war, business

    Business, business, business
    Life… with the cemetery.

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