Cover image for Nine months : before a baby is born / Miranda Paul ; illustrations by Jason Chin.
Nine months : before a baby is born / Miranda Paul ; illustrations by Jason Chin.
Title Variants:
9 months
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2019]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"Neal Porter Books."
"As a baby grows in her mother's tummy, a soon-to-be big sister and her family spend nine months preparing for the newest member of the family to arrive."-- Provided by publisher.
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 4-8.

Interest grade level: K to grade 3.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
612.64 PAU Book Easy Collection

On Order



A soon-to-be big sister and her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby in the family. Alternating panels depict what the family is experiencing in tandem with how the baby is growing, spanning everything from receiving the news about the new baby to the excitement of its arrival. In this pregnancy book unlike any other one out there, watch what's actually happening through meticulously detailed, actual size illustrations, perfectly paired with a lyrical yet informative text, and culminating in a warm, joyful birth scene. Complete with backmatter that includes an elaboration on pregnancy, a list of amazing things babies can do before they're born, and more, Miranda Paul and Caldecott Honor Artist Jason Chin deliver another spectacular nonfiction picture book.

Author Notes

Miranda Paul is an award-winning author of children's books whose work includes Water Is Water (also illustrated by Jason Chin), Are We Pears Yet (illustrated by Carin Berger), and One Plastic Bag- Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. She lives in Wisconsin.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Realistic, light-infused paintings by Chin (Grand Canyon) and spare rhymes by Paul (Are We Pears Yet?) highlight a fetus's developmental milestones inside a mother's womb while outside, a family lovingly prepares, month by month, for the baby's arrival. Labeled illustrations of dividing cells, an embryo, then a fetus (depicted actual size from months four to nine) sit opposite inviting scenes of the family at the same stage getting ready to welcome its newest member. "Lips./ Flips./ Curve, dip, and groove./ She has a face./ She likes to move!" declares the "Month Five" spread, which attends the family assembling a crib. Along the way, the expecting parents proffer a "big sister" T-shirt to their preschool-age child, and mother and daughter share tender tummy-touching moments prior to the birth, which is marked by a close-up of the squalling newborn. Illustrated back matter explains the gestational stages in greater depth. Additional sections compare human and animal gestation spans and straightforwardly answer questions about multiple and premature births, as well as miscarriages. This appealing treatment of the subject strikes a perfect balance between biology-minus the birds and bees-and a gentle relevancy for young, soon-to-be siblings. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides / Our story begins. Its the first of nine five-line stanzas that trace a fetuss development in utero. But this isnt just a story about the nine months of gestation; its also a taletold mostly with illustrationsof a family happily awaiting a babys arrival. As left-hand pages track a zygotes transformation, first into an embryo (theres a tail!) and then into a fetus, right-hand pages show slice-of-life scenes of a mom, dad, and soon-to-be big sister (details in the watercolor and gouache illustrations indicate the family is Latinx). Oftenand quite cleverlyeach stanzas final line embraces both the future newborn and the future big sister. Take Pauls month-five stanza, for example: Lips. / Flips. / Curve, dip, and groove. / She has a face. / She likes to move! Chins verso illustration shows a fetus, at week 20, upside-down with legs crossed. On the opposite page, the big sister jumps on her bed while her parents assemble a crib. During the third trimester, the left-hand illustrations begin to push onto the right-hand pages, ultimately taking over the entire double-page spread. Its another whimsical touch in this joyful celebration of the nine months leading up to a babys birth. Light. / Bright! / Crying and cheer. / Loved ones arrive / A baby is here. Back matter includes further details about gestational development as well as a selected bibliography. tanya d. auger (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.