Children’s book reviews
There are so many fantastic children’s books now available for parents to read to their children if they were conceived using fertility treatment. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the words you want to say as it’s an emotional subject, but the books reviewed below can help you start your conversation, and all of them can be read to your baby, so you will then feel more comfortable talking with your child about their story.
Embaby Elio by Christina Oberon
Christina has dedicated Embaby Elio to her miracle son Kai. This beautifully illustrated book specifically tells the story of when the embryo is frozen after IVF, and the adventure Embaby Elio has before he meets his Mummy and Daddy, who have always dreamed of him.
The story is sensitively told, and I can imagine there being lots of discussions with children who were frozen embryos – how cool (excuse the pun!) will they feel!
As with many other books, Embaby Elio is a great book to help introduce other children to different ways families are created, thus helping to normalise the conversation about fertility treatment.
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Robo-babies by Laura Gallagher
Laura had her own IVF journey to have her miracle son. This brightly illustrated book for pre-schoolers introduces children to a number of robot families and how their robot babies came to make them a family.
It simply tells how some babies journey to their family was through IVF, donor conception, surrogacy, adoption and that babies can also be born too early and have to stay in hospital until they are stronger.
It’s a great book for sharing with your child if they arrived into your family through one of these paths, but equally, it’s a wonderful story for any family to share to normalise the many different ways families are made.
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I dreamed of you, an egg donation story by Lori Metz
When someone decides to use egg donation to start or add to their family, it isn’t a straightforward decision, and something they will need to think about is how will they tell the child. Because there are so many emotions involved, it’s hard to know where to start and what words to use; and everyone’s story is different so there isn’t one way to do this.
I dreamed of you is a wonderful children’s story with lovely illustrations that very simply tells the child how hard their whole family looked for them, how they grew in their Mummy’s tummy with help from a doctor, and finally, how very much they were wanted.
At the back of the book is space for the parents to write why they dreamed of their child and this makes it a really personal book and a lovely keepsake.
These Precious Little People by Frankie Brunker
This wonderfully illustrated children’s picture book was created in loving memory of babies gone too soon, after the author’s own daughter was stillborn. She realised that it isn’t only the adults who grieve a baby lost during pregnancy or soon after birth, but also siblings, cousins, other children in the family and friend’s children.
It’s very painful and difficult telling other children that the baby has died too soon, and the author hopes this book will help them to remember the baby with love and pride. It’s also suitable for reading to children who have been born since the baby died.
Frankie deliberately didn’t include any references to religion or ideas as to what happens after we die, just that these precious little people live on in our memories.
(All money raised through sales of this book goes to a UK charity that supports families through pregnancy and baby loss).