The First Fairy Tale Book I: The Adventure Begins (2018) by Susan Highsmith. Words Matter Publishing. 43 pp. ISBN 13: 978-1-947072-60-2; ISBN 10: 1-947072-60-9.
This story embodies the essence of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology. It is the embryology of conception told in a way that demonstrates the consciousness within each egg, each sperm, and the magnificent Being (called a zygote) that emerges from their union. A more scientific explanation of this magnificent process is included following the fairy tale. The tale is really enough. We know it by heart. (Highsmith, 2018, p. ii)
These words are by the author who uses simple sentences and words that children can understand to describe the process of fertilization. The words are magnificently illustrated by Mark Sean Wilson whose creative designs give more understanding to the words with his brilliant colors and artistic renderings.
The adventure begins as an egg waits in “her chamber” with others who also wait to learn which of them will be chosen by the sperm. The egg has been waiting for a lunar month and is the “Chosen One,” who is anxiously awaiting her knight to join her.
What is so beautiful about this fairy tale is it is based on the embryology of conception. A more adult description is at the end of this adventure and is taken from D.M. Fraser and M.A. Cooper (eds.), Myles textbook for midwives (15th ed.).
The reader feels the drama as the egg must be in the right place at the right time for conception. Is the egg prepared to leave its home and travel through the fallopian tube to meet its suitors (sperm)? When the suitors appear, some are trapped in nooks and crannies. Others sail right past the egg. The egg has the power to enable the suitor that is right and defend itself from the others. The egg and sperm fuse together.
This is a fairy tale I will be giving to my children to share with their children when they feel the time is right. It is a magical tale with delicious illustrations that could really help parents with the difficult discussions of how their children managed to get into their mother’s tummy. You will enjoy The Adventure Begins and you can decide when it is time to share.
Reviewed by Barbara Hotelling, MSN, RN, LCCE, FACCE, AdvBD(DONA), CHT
Clinical Nurse Educator Duke University School of Nursing
JOPPPAH Book Review Editor