From the moment my first child was born I was astonished. His tiny body, so recently surrounded by my own, made so many miraculous changes practically in the blink of an eye. The transition to breathing rather than getting oxygenated blood via the cord. The closing of heart valves and the opening of new ones. Without these, his life, and human life, would be impossible.
Monday, November 3, 2008
In Amazing Baby, Desmond Morris covers everything from these first moments until your sweet little newborn is somehow a two year old. From organ systems to personality development, this book covers basic biology in a way that would make any person, parent or not, interested in these lovely little beings.
Accompanying Morris' text are hundreds of stunning photographs. These are what transform this from simply a parenting reference to a work of art. Take it from someone who considers photographing her children a highlight of her day: these photos are a big part of what makes Amazing Baby amazing. Also, you don't have to take just my word for it. Both of my kids attempted, on several occasions, to kiss the photos of the adorable babies. Luckily I had dry washcloths near by so that the book wasn't ruined. Several of the photos are also accompanied with overlays which show complex internal structures, such as the newborn skull, eye anatomy or brain lobes.
With all of the information on development and anatomy, Morris never misses an opportunity to drive home his main point that parents have the most profound effect on their child's development. As he states at the end of the book,
"Looking into the tiny face of a newborn baby as she nestles in her mother's arms, it is important to remember that they way the little infant is treated during the first two years of her life will have a profound effect upon the course she takes later as an adult. It should be easy enough for a child who has enjoyed a loving, richly stimulating, fun-packed infancy to grow up into a happy, well-adjusted adult. For an neglected or deprived infant, however, it may prove much harder."