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First Comes Love: All About The Birds And The Bees--and Alligators, Possums, And People, Too

Every parent awaits the question: Where do babies come from? First Comes Love is a charming introduction to the birds and the bees, not to mention alligators, spiders, dragonflies, squirrels, peacocks, and--of course--people.Illustrated by Clare Mackie, whose clever visual jokes and whimsical flourishes will appeal as much to grown-ups as they do to children, the book marries fun rhyming text with fascinating fact to tell a story of love, courtship, and birth across the animal kingdom. Written for the ages of 4 to 8, when kids are at their most curious and least embarrassed, here is the story of the lightning bug-"When the firefly is in a flirting mode, / He scribbles and blinks a special code." The penguin--"Quivering and caressing with flippers and beaks, /They touch and talk for two full weeks." And the kangaroo--"Kangaroo babies are rarely seen, / Because they're no bigger than a lima bean." Then below, in captions that amplify the verse, kids learn that every firefly species has its own blinking language, that penguins try to find the same mate year after year, and that a new-born kangaroo stays in his mother's pouch for the first three months.

Hardcover: 48 pages

Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (June 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0761122443

ISBN-13: 978-0761122449

Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #232,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #35 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Health > Sexuality #220 in Books > Children's Books > Education & Reference > Science Studies > Zoology #411 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Fiction

Age Range: 4 and up

Grade Level: Preschool and up

This is a great book for a very basic introduction to love and reproduction for a young child around 4 years old. The main text of the story is cute and rhyming with no great detail about reproduction, just the words "sperm" and "eggs" without the hows of it. The pictures and words contain entertaining animal facts about how various fish, birds, and mammals court and raise their young. However, in small print on the bottom of each page are a couple of sentences containing a more in-depth explanation of reproduction, naming the body parts and how they fit together, so you can just read the rhyming cute part for a very young child and add the specifics as you choose for an older child. The illustrations are very cute and whimsical and not at all realistic; for example, baby seahorses in bonnets in a carriage and a crab as a knight in armor. There are no diagrams of actual anatomy. If you are looking for a book illustrating the male and female anatomy you will need to find a different book. This is really just a cute introduction to love and mating, and you will need other books to explain the specifics.

I got this book thinking it would actually explain the birds and the bees to my daughter. No such luck. Because it's all in rhyme, it doesn't really make much sense to a small child. And it gives trivia without explaining well how babies are actually made. Example: it tells you that "a male octopus captivates/the interest of intended mates/by changing into shimmering stripes/which pleases even the shyest types...etc. etc. How do they actually mate? It doesn't say. If you're looking for a cute little book that could spark some conversation, this is it. If you're looking for a book that is heavy on factual information that will teach your child about the birds and the bees, look elsewhere.

I am a mother of two small children and I have fretted a bit about how I would answer their innocent questions about he birds and the bees. And then I found it.. "First Comes Love" is a wonderful picture book about flirting critters and amorous people and it even covers that tricky part about how that sperm finds his way to the egg. Unlike other clinical books on the subject this one is fun to read over and over just for the hip rhymes and the hilarious pictures.My children are learning and laughing and so am I. There lots of fun facts that are new to children as well as parents like "kangaroo newborns are rarely seen since they are no bigger than a lima bean." I won't tell you much more but what creature would you guess swishes bubbles under his darling's chin to charm her? (It's the alligator but do not tell.)If only my parents had given me a book like this....oh, the blushing I would have been spared.Happy reading

Well, after reading the reviews, I wasn't sure about this book, but got it anyway. I was pleasantly surprised. No, it's not all about human reproduction (although that is mentioned in there). We have "Where did I come from?" for that, and that does an excellent job. This instead shows how a lot of different animals reproduce and truthfully, I learned some things. Plus, the illustrations were really cute and didn't take long to read. I really liked it and the kids liked it too.

Sweet drawings and somewhat informational (if you are interested in the process of seduction in alligators, spiders, sea horses, and many other animals). But virtually no information about humans. For example, a page has a sperm and an egg cell, but neither the text nor the drawing tells where the two are coming from. Anything about sexuality is hidden behind rhyming text and caricatures of animals. While it's not a bad book to have (my 4- and 6-year-old enjoyed it), it doesn't provide any answers for a child who asks questions.

I wish this book had been around when I was a child...I can think of no better way to introduce the "birds and the bees" to children!Jennifer Davis has done an amazing job at making an unjustifiably taboo subject easy to read and talk about.The illustrations are precocious, the poetry witty and charming and the facts, well, factual and informative.I've purchased copies for all of my friends' children and am looking forward to future books from this refreshing author.

The whole book is written in funny rhymes. Each page gives a little short factoid about the mating behavior of many different animal species. The part on humans is only about two short pages, but it does give a brief overview of "the birds and the bees" in a humorous but straightforward way without going into great detail. You will have to fill in the blanks for your child. My daughter thinks this is a great book, and I agree. The illustrations are hilarious! However, if you are looking for a book that goes into more detail about human reproduction, I recommend the classic, "Where did I come from?"

This book approaches the subject in a very subtle way. It makes use of rhymes to explain to kids that the mating process is natural to all animals. It does not put unnecessary stress on the mechanics of human reproduction and it makes for an easy, fun read. I read it along with my daughter when she was 6 years old and now, at 7, she still likes to read it out loud and enjoys flipping through the pages before bed. I am a beginning psychotherapist and this book is sure to make my bookcase at my future practice! Just fantastic!

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