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LOOKING FOR A CHILDREN'S BOOK THAT SHOWS BREASTFEEDING?

compiled by Anne Altshuler, RN, MS, IBCLC
Madison, WI - April 2003

Children's books tend to reflect our society's bias towards feeding babies by bottle. Here are some of the better books currently available that show or tell about breastfeeding, arranged in order from those appropriate for the youngest children to those intended for older readers. Look for them in your library or bookstore. Illustrations are by the author where not otherwise indicated. Remember that no book is perfect or will fit every need.

My New Baby by Annie Kubler. Child's Play (International) Ltd., 2000. This 14 page, wordless board book shows a toddler helping his family to care for the new baby. Two breastfeeding pictures. (ages 1 – 2)

We Have a Baby by Cathryn Falwell. Clarion Books, 1993. This is a picture book for the very young child with a new sibling. Just 32 pages long, with only a few words on each page, the book shows a loving family with both parents actively involved in the care of the toddler and the new baby. The mother is shown nursing the baby, her arm around the toddler who is nestled against her and eating milk and a cookie. (ages 1 - 3)

We Like to Nurse by Chia Martin. Illustrated by Shukyo Lin Rainey. Hohm Press, 1995. Paperbound Fourteen animal pairs are shown nursing in bright, flat pictures with simple text, ending with a human mother and baby. A favorite of breastfed toddlers. (ages 1 - 3)

Breastmilk makes my tummy yummy by Cecilia Moen. Midsummer Press, Sweden 1999. This book is ideal for a nursing toddler. Simple, rhymed verse accompanies the multicultural illustrations of babies and toddlers nursing in various situations: when angry or sad, in the bath tub, when mummy is on the phone, in a family bed, etc. Tandem nursing is also shown: “Two can breastfeed without fuss, there is room for both of us.” (ages 2 – 4)

Mama, Daddy, Baby and Me by Lisa Gewing. Illustrated by Donna Larimer. Spirit Press, 1989. The very simple, rhymed text and appealing illustrations show a family welcoming a new baby, told from the toddler sibling's point of view. One picture of the mother and baby nursing. (ages 2 - 4)

Look What I See! Where can I Be? In the Neighborhood by Dia L. Michels. Photographs by Michael J. N. Bowles. Platypus Media, LLC, 2001. Clues help children to guess where the baby wakes up as a busy family explores a multicultural urban neighborhood. The baby is carried in a sling, a front pack, a back pack, a stroller, and a wagon. The last picture shows the mother and baby nursing outdoors on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. (ages 2 – 4)

The World Is Full of Babies! by Mick Manning and Brita Granström. Delacorte Press, 1996. With humorous, engaging text and bright, attractive illustrations, the authors explain how human and animal babies grow and develop. An East Asian mother is shown nursing her baby. (ages 2 - 6)

Supermom by Mick Manning. Illustrated by Brita Granström. Albert Whitman & Company, 2001. A wide variety of human and animal mothers feed, shelter, talk, play with, protect, cuddle and nurse their babies to sleep. (ages 3 – 6)

Happy Birth Day! by Robie H. Harris. Illustrated by Michael Emberley. Candlewick Press, 1996. A mother tells her child about her hospital birth and first day of life. Large, beautiful illustrations capture the essence of a newborn baby breastfeeding and falling asleep cuddled up with both parents. (ages 3 - 8)

Only the Cat Saw by Ashley Wolff. Originally published in 1982. Walker and Company, 1996 (softcover). In this colorful picture book the cat sees all the details in a typical 24 hour day in the life of a busy farm family. The mother is shown breastfeeding the baby in a rocking chair at dawn. (ages 3 - 8)

Hello Baby! By Lizzy Rockwell. Crown Publishers, 1999. A young boy describes his mother's pregnancy, his sister's hospital birth, homecoming and first day at home. One nice breastfeeding illustration. (ages 3 - 6)

What Baby Needs by William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN, and Christie Watts Kelly. Little Brown & Company, 2001. The needs of a new baby are described in terms a preschooler can understand and relate to. The baby is carried in a sling and sleeps in the parents' room. The father is very involved in this baby's care. Feelings of the older siblings are recognized as the book models many positive ways for children to interact with a new baby. Includes two nice breastfeeding pictures and one of bottle feeding mother's milk.

A companion book about pregnancy, Baby on the Way, explains the emotional and physical changes that occur when a mother is expecting a new baby. Includes a nice breastfeeding illustration. (ages 3 – 6)

Will There Be a Lap for Me? by Dorothy Corey. Illustrated by Nancy Poydar. Albert Whitman & Company, 1992. Preschooler Kyle, from a middle class African-American family, misses his special place on his mother's lap as her pregnancy advances and the new baby arrives. A full page illustration shows Mother nursing the new baby with Kyle beside her on the sofa. Kyle is sad that the baby needs to eat so often, but Mother makes room on her lap and special time in her day for him again. (ages 3 - 8)

One Round Moon and a Star for Me by Ingrid Mennen. Illustrated by Niki Daly. Orchard Books, 1994. A new baby girl is lovingly welcomed in rural South Africa. Her older brother is reassured of his place and belonging in the family. Beautiful color illustrations show Mama nursing the new baby. Close father - son relationship. (ages 3 - 8)

How You Were Born by Joanna Cole. Photographs by Margaret Miller. Morrow Junior Books, 1993. A clear and helpful book about conception, fetal development and birth is illustrated with color photographs of parents and children from many racial backgrounds. The 1984 edition with same text and black and white photos by Hella Hammid and others is also still available in paperback and has a lovely breastfeeding illustration. (ages 3 - 11)

The Best Gifts by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. Illustrated by Halina Below. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1998. Growing up from infancy to adulthood, Sara receives the most important gifts from her parents (including breastfeeding, time, love and caring) and passes them on to her own baby son. (ages 4 – 8)

How Was I Born? by Lennart Nilsson and Lena Katarina Swanberg. Illustrated with color photographs by Lennart Nilsson. Delacorte Press, 1994. A Swedish preschooler tells the story of her baby brother's birth. Three lovely photographs show the new baby nursing just after birth. Additional text explains conception, birth and the growth and development of babies. 80 pages long. (ages 4 - 8)

Breasts by Genichiro Yagyu. First published in Japan in 1989. Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 1999. Alternately silly and tender, this book introduces young children to the real purpose of women's breasts: feeding babies. (ages 5 - 8)

The Wonder of Mother's Milk by Mishawn Purnell-O'Neal. Illustrated by Dana T.C. Simpson. Self-published, 2005. The Wonders of Mother's Milk is a multicultural information book for the 5 plus age group that presents a positive view of breastmilk and breastfeeding. Children will love the illustrations of families going about their days with mother nursing close by. (ages 5 - 8)

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