Frequently Asked Questions
Great question! Let me start by saying that the way I work is very thoughtful and collaborative. That means not rushing, but thinking of things, and talking to lots of other people, before acting.
I've been overwhelmed by the response so far and feel bad that I haven't been able to thank people individually for backing the project, so much of my time is being spent just connecting with backers. But I'm meeting with Zab who is both designing the book and ushering it through production, tomorrow and this is one of the things we'll be discussing. And on Monday I'm getting to be in a room full of parents and kids who are exactly who the book was written for (here in Ontario it's Family Day, and my local LGBTQ Parenting Network is having an event all about books!) So that will give me another opportunity to connect with folks I know and trust and respect.
The short answer is that we'll be printing as many books as we can afford to. But in the next little while I"m going to post a longer, more thoughtful, and more detailed response. Thanks for asking and let me know if you have any more questions.Last updated:
A: I’ve been happy to get many emails from people asking if the book includes various specific scenarios (e.g. egg donation, foster adoption). The short answer is “no, but…”.
That is to say: No, it does not visually depict specific forms of reproduction, BUT it works for all forms of baby-making in part because there is flexibility written into it.
What Makes a Baby works for all forms of reproduction because it shares information that is true for all forms of reproduction. It was painstakingly written (and read and re-written and re-read and re-re-written) to be specific about this basic information without being either exclusive or vague about the wonderful and ever expanding array of ways children come into our lives.
So what that looks like is that the first part and the last part of the book tell kids what we all need to make a baby. We talk about sperm, egg, and uterus without gendering either them or the bodies they reside in or come from. We do it without saying that you need a mommy and daddy, or even two people who know each other, and we make it very clear that there are many ways these elements can come together. The illustrations won’t ruin it by tokenizing or stereotyping what families look like. In fact they make it clear that all families are possible and they can all be beautiful.
The middle part is where you, the adult reader comes in. There are pages where the reader is given an opening to share the particular story of how the specific child who is being read to came to be. The text and the illustrations are carefully done to leave it open and at the same time to engage the child reader. We model a vocabulary of specific of words and beautiful images that can be the tools for including the more personal details of your own family. We do this by breaking the “forth wall” and asking questions for the adults to answer.
This is a book for kids roughly 4-8 years old. And it’s a classic picture book which means very few words, lots of beautiful pictures. For most kids this age it doesn’t work to give them a laundry list of all the ways people are making babies. There are more than 30 (that I can think of off the top of my head) and many kids that age won’t sit through it all (although some happily and eagerly will). More to the point, my approach, which comes from a social justice model, means that we’re trying to teach kids both the story of how they came to be AND the story of how everyone comes to be.
So we chose not to include illustrations of an adoption agency, or a surrogate, or frozen sperm (but we did think a lot about it!). But the book allows you to tell your children those stories, or whichever ones are true for your family.
I should mention that the more detailed version, with words and pictures and all the different methods of reproduction and birth WILL be in the second book in the series, which will be for kids ages 7-11 (and be far more than 32 pages and have have far more words!).
Sex education is all about knowing your audience, and creating a flexible space where the person with the knowledge (in this case the adult reader) can respond with as much or as little detail as the person without the knowledge (the child reader) wants and needs.
That’s a long answer! But I guess what I’m saying is that if you are looking for a text that illustrates particular methods of reproduction, that will be my next book (which we’re already working on). But What Makes a Baby absolutely does work for every conceivable scenario of conception. It requires that the parent or adult reader be an active participant in the conversation. Which is the key to good education!
Again, any questions please let me know!Last updated:
I backed What Makes a Baby and am getting more than one copy as my reward. Can you suggest places to send my second and third copy?
I’m going to call this now: we have the most generous backers on Kickstarter! Many of you have backed at the $60 level and higher and have told me that you are going to share your extra copies with people and organizations in your life that need them. And even more have asked for suggestions as to where extra copies could be shipped.
If you back at the $60 or higher level you will receive more than one copy of the book. I'm happy to send all the copies to you so you can keep them or share them as you wish. But if you would like to direct your additional copies to a shelter, bookmobile, library, fertility clinic, or parenting group, we will send it to them at no extra cost to you (you give, we give).
But let's say that you want to spread the books around but you aren't sure where. That's where we come in again. I’m already connected with some shelters, parenting groups, and libraries that would welcome copies of What Makes a Baby. But I’m using all of you to broaden that list. So by the time we’re ready to ship (in June) we’ll hope to have over one hundred places to send your copies to for free.
At the end of the campaign you’ll receive a survey from me, which will further explain how this will work. But in the meantime if you have any questions or if you have a suggestion of a local place that you’d like your extra copies to go to feel free to let me know so I can get them on the list.Last updated:
There’s no real secret. I spent almost two years working on the book and then spent three months of intensive preparation for Kickstarter. I asked everyone I knew who had used Kickstarter for their advice and they helped. I also emailed a few people who never got back to me, but didn’t let that get me down.
Having a network to start with seems crucial, although if you have a project and are able to communicate it to people who really want it, I’m not even sure it’s 100% necessary.
I read the following articles many times and integrated many of their tips into my own plan.
Finally, you have to be ready and willing to ask people for help and to ask for what you want. These are things that, in my opinion, most of us are not very good at (I’m terrible at it) but it’s actually great practice. Asking for help is one way of resisting the ridiculous idea that we are all independent, and that we don’t in fact owe our very existence to the way that we help each other every day without acknowledging it or even being aware of it.
Good luck!Last updated:
Don't see the answer to your question? Ask the project creator directly.Ask a question