The idea of having a new sibling can be a difficult one for young children to understand. What’s Inside Your Tummy Mummy? written and illustrated by Abby Cocovini and published by Red Fox is the perfect book to help them make sense of it.
We were given this book when I was expecting my youngest son and my eldest loved it. We read it over and over again and he still asks for it even now that his brother is over a year old.
The book follows a typical pregnancy with each double page detailing what happens during each of the 9 months. There are facts and interesting developments that happen at each stage as well as a timeline running along the bottom of the pages that count down the days. But the brilliantly unique feature of this book is the life size illustration on every right hand page showing a mummy’s tummy with the baby inside getting bigger as the months go on.
As the illustrations of the baby in utero are life sized, the book is big enough for you to hold up in front of your tummy and show exactly what is happening in there. This is such a clever feature, it’s a complicated topic to make accessible to little ones but this book manages it perfectly with just enough detail for them to understand.
The layout makes it really easy to dip in and out of and continue to use throughout the 9 months as there is always a page relevant to your stage of pregnancy. We really enjoyed looking at the comparisons in size to everyday objects as the baby gets bigger; from a baked bean to a pineapple, a pumpkin and finally a baby of course!
At the end of the book there are some useful facts and tips about how to look after a baby, specifically what a big brother or sister can do to help; being very gentle with them and not making too much noise when they’re asleep for instance.
My son was around two and a half when I was pregnant and some of the details were a bit beyond his understanding. Even so, this book was still really accessible for him. We picked out the simpler facts and explanations to read to him and he was enthralled by the wonderful illustrations. This is a book that would appeal to a range of ages; older children could track the number of days left using the timeline or work out how much the baby has grown over each month.
My son found so many things fascinating in this book such as, the baby weeing 15 times a day by month 4 and their first poos that are sticky and black. When we got to month 7 and read that the baby can start to recognise songs, my son began singing Twinkle Twinkle to my bump all the time and carried on doing so when the baby arrived.
A lovely book to share with your children to help prepare them for this life changing event and also create special memories.