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There's a House Inside My Mummy - Giles Andreae

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Giles Andreae / Paperback / 32 Pages / Book is published 2002-03-28 by Orchard

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    6 Reviews
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      20.09.2013 13:45
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      Does the job well

      I purchased this book after finding out I was due a baby boy in July 2013, my sister in law recommended it to me as she had read it to her son when she was due her second baby. I bought it for my daughter as the book aims to help children understand Mummy's pregnancy and explain to them that there will be a new baby coming into the family.

      This book is beautifully written in a simple rhyme that is easy to understand. Combined with the fantastic illustrations, I was able to relate what was happening in the book with what was happening to me at the time. 'There's a house inside my Mummy' is written from the point of view of a little boy who's Mum is expecting, it is written brilliantly from a child's perspective of things, for example, he describes where the baby is as like a giant bathtub and I personally love where he says 'if I had a house in me I'd feel quite poorly too.' The book covers common pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, mum sleeping, mum raiding the fridge etc. Daddy is also an important figure in the book, he reassures his son to be patient and explains to him that he once lived in Mummy's tummy house too!

      My daughter was just under 2 years when I first started reading this book to her, but as much as she loved the book she was far too young to understand the concept of a new sibling coming into the family. I personally think this book is better for 2 and a half years plus, when they have a little more understanding.

      This book is a very enjoyable read, it is optimistic about a new arrival coming into the family and concludes with the boy having a 'lovely little brother', which I think is how every parent hopes their child will react to a new sibling!

      I give this book 5 out of 5, really enjoyed it and will be passing it on to my friend who is expecting her second baby. My daughter was too young to understand but I don't feel it should lose a star for this.

      The book is currently available to buy on amazon priced at £5.99.

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      24.04.2013 15:06
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      A lovely book

      Hope is two and a half and is expecting a baby brother or sister any day now really. When I first found out I was expecting again Hope was only just two and she had no concept at all of what a baby was let alone what was happening to me. Over the last few months she has been more aware of what is happening due to us talking about it and also her growing up so having a better understanding. One thing which is difficult to get across to her is that a baby doesn't just come to play and then go home like what happens with our friends who come round with babies but that it will be a part of the family. I was a bit concerned that Hope wasn't really understanding what is going to happen so I bought a couple of books for her to help her to understand and this is one of those books.

      My friend's daughter is the same age as Hope and has asked lots of questions like 'how is baby going to get out?' whereas Hope wouldn't even consider asking this so children of all ages are at different stages with their understanding of what is happening which is why this book can be very useful for several age groups and not just those who are asking questions. Hope doesn't ask questions about it but it doesn't mean she isn't wondering what on earth is going on! I think this book can be useful for children from 18 months plus.

      It is a large book so not very easy for small hands to be able to turn the pages of themselves. It is also paperback and not board back so if your child is rough handed or under 18 months it's probably best to read this book with your child and not leave them alone with it as they will be able to tear pages or get paper cuts. This is fine by me as I think this is the kind of book that you should be sitting down to read with your child anyway so that you can help explain what is happening and of course so you can actually read the words to your child.


      The pictures correspond to the paragraph for example "I try to help look after her and see she gets some rest, often she falls fast asleep before she gets undressed." And on this page there is a picture of a little boy sitting next to his mummy on the sofa. Mummy is fast asleep wearing a stripey top and on the floor are lots of toys on a rug. Hope and I discuss how Mummy must be tired because of the baby but we also talk about what toys are around and how it will be tidy up time soon. I like this as it means that the focus isn't completely on the baby and shows that even when a baby is around/expected life is still 'normal' for a child.

      The story is told through the eyes of a young child documenting the pregnancy so he talks about how Mummy is tired, how mummy feels sick, that he can't see through the tummy to see the baby but he knows it's in there, he also talks about how excited he is about knowing he will be able to play with the baby and teach them things once they arrive. I think telling the story in a first person view like this is great as it helps to appeal to Hope and I hope that it helps her to consider how she feels about the prospect of becoming a sister soon.

      The various things documented by the child are probably the ones which a child would pick up on. Hope has been concerned about the fact I have been sick and this book helps to explain that having a baby inside you can make you feel like this but it doesn't go into great detail about hormonal changes or anything like that so it is very appropriate for this age group. There aren't any awkward things discussed, probably the most difficult is when the page about meeting the baby comes up "I just can't wait to meet him, i just hope that he's alright, my daddy says be patient as his door is rather tight." I dislike this page! I cringe reading it to Hope, I feel it's a bit unneccessary. It is good insofar as yes some children may ask how baby will get out but I think this paragraph puts it into a child's head about there being a door and some parents may have their own little story that they want to tell children about how baby will arrive instead of introducing a door into it all or having the toddler request to see the door! I think perhaps this could have been worded in a different way. There are no other awkward conversations which this book brings up, it doesn't discuss how baby will feed or how baby got there although of course whilst reading this your child may ask these questions.

      What is nice is that on the last page the little boy meets the baby. I like that the whole book is actually about pregnancy and what it entails instead of the other books that we have which are more about preparing a child for a baby arriving and what a baby does. This book, instead, just explains to a child why mummy is getting bigger and why she may not be as active etc which makes it unique to the other books that we have in this area.

      Hope loves this book. I still don't think she fully understands what is happening to me but at two and a half I wouldn't expect her to. Her friend who is the same age seems to have a much better grasp of what is happening but as I said previously all children are different. When Hope reads this I like to think that it is helping her to be empathetic towards how I am feeling and is helping to explain in a simple way what is happening. She enjoys to look through this book with whoever is around at the time and she does get excited about it. At the moment her other books which are not related to babies are going pretty much ignored so I do think that if you are expecting a baby and have a toddler it is a good idea to introduce them to books like this.

      I think once baby is here the book will be redundant because it's about pregnancy and not about newborns but I do still think we got our money's worth out of it (we paid £4.00) as it is read on a daily basis and we have had lots of discussions about the various issues raised as well as talking about other things that are happening in the background of the pictures.

      I do definitely recommend this book. The rhyming words make it read well and the pictures are lovely so children will enjoy looking at this. It's a great book to sit down and read with your child and spend some time bonding as well as helping them to understand what is happening.

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        22.04.2012 22:47
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        Love it! Exactly what we were looking for!

        There's a House Inside My Mummy is written by Giles Andreae (Giraffe's Can't Dance) and the wonderful text is accompanied with beautiful illustrations by Vanessa Cabban. The standard retail price stated on the back of the book is £5.99 but the book can be bought for slightly cheaper on amazon. I paid the full price when purchasing this book from Waterstones.

        As I am currently 7 months pregnant with my second child I have been searching for a good book to help explain the pregnancy to my 22 month old son. After visiting the library I found only books addressing what happens after the baby is born, these weren't quite what I was looking of as I wanted something to help show my son what is happening right now. I decided to give Waterstone's a visit, where the friendly staff showed me several "new baby" books. After quickly deciding that "Mummy Laid An Egg" went into way too much graphic detail for our almost 2 year old son, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised with "There's a House Inside My Mummy".

        The language used in this book seems very appropriate for a young child and the simple rhyming helps the words flow and gives the book a great rhythm to help keep the attention of a toddler. The book is written from the perspective of the child (My Daddy says...etc), which I think is a great touch and will help your toddler relate to the situation. Throughout most of the book the baby is referred to as he, but the opening paragraph does state "where my little brother grows, or maybe it's my little sister, no one really knows".

        The story covers many aspects of Mummy being pregnant, comparing (as you have probably guessed from the title) Mummy's ever growing tummy to a house, where the baby lives. The story also points out that the toddler used to live in Mummy's tummy too (although he can't remember it), and there are many other nice little touches such as describing the scan as the "hospital tv" and saying the baby doesn't have a bed inside Mummy's tummy house so has to sleep in a "sort of giant bathtub". The story also explains the affect that having a house in her tummy has on Mummy, pointing out that Mummy eats "crazy food", sometimes gets sick and falls asleep even "before she's got undressed".

        Personally my favourite pages of this book are the ones nearer the end that concentrate more on the relationship between the toddler and the baby, they even bought a tear to my eye (and to my husband's but don't tell him I told you that). In these pages the toddler talks about cuddles with Mummy where he tells the baby that he loves him through Mummy's 'tummy telephone" and expresses his impatience in waiting to meet the baby and looking forward to all the things he can teach him.

        The illustrations are really beautiful and go very well with the feel of the story, displaying a loving family giving the toddler lots of attention. The toddler in the illustrations seems boyish but I do think it could also pass as a girl.

        This book is perfect for our current situation, the language and explanation are ideal for our son's level of understanding and give him just the right amount of information. It was also a bonus that the toddler in the illustrations seems boyish and that they don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl, as we also don't know whether our own little toddler is getting a little brother or a little sister. My son also enjoys looking at he illustrations, I do think he relates to many of the images, such as lying his head on Mummy's bump and lifting a top up for a closer look!

        I really love this book but do have to point out that it doesn't cover anything after the baby is born, and also doesn't mention that Mummy may have to stay in hospital for a while to get the baby out. I won't be marking the book down for either of these points though, as I was looking for a book focussing on the "before" it's exactly what we wanted, there are plenty of other books out there that focus on the "after" but we will just be using video footage and photo's of our son as a baby to show him the "after", along with visiting friend's babies.

        I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is expecting a sibling for their child!

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          03.04.2012 16:31
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          A lovely humourous rhyming book to help prepare littles ones for a new arrival.

          My daughter was just under 2 years old when I became pregnant with my second child. Although we told her quite early on (we couldn't resisit!), we never really talked much about it until the bump started getting big. At which point we realised that even a 2 year old could have great powers of denial! Whenever we mentioned the baby she would leave the room or change the subject! I decided that, as she absolutely loved reading, some books were required to assist us! We purchased this one, and "Waiting for Baby" (see separate review)

          "There's a House inside my Mummy" tells the story of a little boy waiting for his brother/sister to arrive. The pictures are bright and simple enough for young children to appreciate. The story is told using simple rhymes and humour to talk about what is happening in Mummy's tummy:

          "There's a house inside my Mummy,
          Where my little brother grows,
          Or maybe is a sister,
          No one really knows"

          The story is centred around the house (no visits to midwife/doctor are included) and the common experiences of pregnancy are covered - Mummy "eats all sorts of crazy stuff" and "falls fast asleep before she's got undressed" and often feels sick. The book introduces some lovely new phrases, such as "Mummy's Tummy House" and the "Tummy Telephone". I particularly liked the part where the little boy, who can't wait to meet the baby is told by his Daddy to be patient because "the door is rather tight"!!

          The author of this book is Giles Andreae (AKA Purple Ronnie). The humour is fantastic, and although my daughter refused to let us read it before the baby came (the denial was strong!!), it has become a favourite of hers since. My only (small) criticism is that there is no mention of Mummy going away to have the baby (maybe he's an advocate of home births!). For me, explaining this to my daughter was probably my biggest worry so it would have been nice if this was included.

          This book is completely different to the other one we bought (Waiting for Baby), but I would say the two complimented each other perfectly. Of the two, this is aimed at slightly older children (2 years+). My daughter is now almost 4 and still loves it.

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          14.08.2008 20:30
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          If you're pregnant with a young child, this is an excellent book to share with your child.

          I originally bought this book to read to my oldest child when I was pregnant with my second baby. The lovely thing is that we still read it at bedtimes sometimes even now - even though the baby is now almost two years old!

          I wanted something that was child-friendly, fun to read and aimed at children around his age. Although my son was four when we bought this, it would be suitable for a younger child. I'd say a three year old or even two year old would be able to understand the concept of the story as it's kept very simple.

          This book is quite short so ideal for the bedtime slot for busy mums - especially if you're exhausted from the kids, never mind the pregnancy! It's written in rhyme so it's easy reading and kids can learn and remember the words really easily and quickly.

          It also gives nice explanations for some of the more unpleasant side-effects of pregnancy. The child telling the story says that he'd feel sick if he had a house inside him too! The language used makes the idea of pregnancy seem much easier to explain to a young child.

          The pictures are bright and colourful and capture your imagination but the real beauty of this book is in the words. We particularly loved the phrase 'tummy telephone' when the little boy telling the story was trying to talk to the baby through his mum's belly button! My son kept saying 'I love you' through the 'tummy telephone' after reading that! It's one of those special memories I'll never forget.

          The all important question about a kid's book relating to babies and pregnancy has to be - are the birds and bees mentioned? I was very glad that there's no mention of how the baby got in there at all, so that was a conversation nicely avoided! I wouldn't really want to be faced with an explanation about the conception process when I'm putting my son to bed! If you wanted a book for that purpose though, you might want to choose an alternative, or use this as a way of starting the conversation and then you can choose the language that you want to use.

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            11.08.2008 20:36
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            Good to explain about a new baby being on the way

            I bought this book when I discovered I was expecting my second baby as I thought it would help my first baby get used to the idea of someone else joining the family...

            It's written by Giles Andreae who I think is also Purple Ronnie, so as you can imagine it has very catchy, rhyming text. It's written from the point of view of the little boy (i.e. big brother) and it's expressed how a child would explain things, for example - '...because there's not a bed, there's a sort of giant bathtub where the baby sleeps instead...' and my favourite phrase in the book is 'Mummy's tummy house'. It just goes through the different side effects of pregnancy such as mummy feeling sick, tired, falling asleep, talking to baby through the 'tummy telephone', until eventually he gets his lovely little brother and that's where the story concludes.

            The illustrations are really good, they show Daddy helping the little boy to get dressed, as I presume Mummy is too tired, Mummy raiding the fridge, Mummy asleep on the sofa - all the scenarios you would expect from a pregnant Mother which I think is really good for children to see and especially if their Mother is doing all of these weird & unexplainable things, at least they can relate to something in the book and it maybe helps them have more of an understanding of the situation.

            However, I think my daughter is a bit too young (nearly 19 months) to understand the concept of there being a baby on the way so this book is wasted on her, but she does enjoy having it read to her!

            I would recommend this book for an older child, probably aged 2 or older as they have more of an understanding of babies and a baby being in Mummy's tummy, whereas my daughter is oblivious, even though I try to tell her! She's gonna get a shock when I bring the new baby home one day...

            Anyway, I paid £5.99 for this book from Amazon but I think prices may vary depending on where you look.

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