The first entry in a planned series about pregnancy, WoW! What a Trip!: My journey to meet my family follows a semi-omniscient baby from conception to birth, delivering a tale that serves as a jumping off point for parents looking to discuss a new pregnancy with their child.
This picture book opens with the baby-to-be narrator commenting on its own growing collection of cells. As the story unfolds and the baby gets bigger, it muses about various ideas while it waits to be born ( “I wonder what my name will be”; “I wonder if I’ll have a big brother or big sister”). The story ends with the baby’s birth.
Additional pages follow that provide space for families to paste in their own photos and write in memories; a list of how big fetuses are at various ages (at conception, “about the size of a grain of sugar”), and suggestions for guided discussions.
Overall, the book provides a simple and approachable narrative for adults seeking to explain a baby’s development. The illustrations are expressive and the vocabulary appropriate for most young readers.
The narrator’s perspective is sometimes confusing, however, because the baby hears and understands conversations—and even knows when an ultrasound is being taken and reacts by smiling for the “picture”—but doesn’t know what fingers are for or whether it will have a sibling. This selective omniscience might baffle very young readers who won’t know what their future sibling will and won’t understand.
Another note: Because the story follows a single family, which is depicted as white, middle-class, and heterosexual, and the possible names listed for the baby are mostly Western European, some families may not feel represented by the story and its characters.
Despite this issue and the narrative inconsistencies, this remains a strong start to a picture book series on pregnancy and childbirth. For expectant families, Wow! What a Trip! offers an accessible, age-appropriate explanation of life within the womb.
Also available as an ebook.