Earlier we noted the arrival on our shores of the acclaimed British picture book, "Where Willy Went: The Big Story of a Little Sperm!" Here again is the promotional blurb: "Rosy-cheeked Willy is determined to be the first to reach the lovely and soft interior of an egg, located in the murkily mapped recesses of Mrs. Browne's abdomen .... Worldly older siblings and adults are likely to be Allan's most responsive audience, but many under-five readers may still enjoy the sojourn to a world of endearing, exotic tadpole creatures."


We have now obtained a copy, and we can tell you ... it's not that bad. Allan has a gift for anatomically correct diagrams that aren't the least bit risque. For example, as the sperm cells race out of Mr. Browne and into Mrs. Browne, the visual looks for all the world like arrows on a treasure map. If a parent chose to describe the parts and actions pictured, he could, but he doesn't have to, and the words "penis," "vagina," and "nookie" do not appear anywhere in the book. The book can also be read as a Where's Waldo adventure as Willy and his bespectacled rival race to lead 300 million cells into Mrs. Browne after the couple "join together."

There's also a hint of a genetics lesson when we discover that the daughter produced by Willy's heroic swim grows up to share his weakness in math. In other words, against all expectation, this is a legitimate book for preschoolers about where babies come from. We give it two ... thumbs up.


Today, you can restore Cobb County, Georgia, to your list of places you could raise your kids, as the county has been ordered by a judge to remove stickers from its 34,000 science textbooks which had declared, “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”

“It’s a sad day in Cobb County,” said Larry Taylor, a parent who favors including alternatives to evolution in science classes. “I hate to see the stickers go. I thought they were a fair compromise."

Taylor plans to promote other fair compromises for the school system, such as posting half of the 10 commandments in each classroom.

May 24, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS


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