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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Little Gems: Marvels and Musings on Motherhood from Around the World

Updated: May 9, 2018

By Jane Langley and Bridget Fogarty, illustrations by Becky Ollivier.

Little Gems won PANZ Awards for Best Illustrated Book and Best Typography – and it is easy to see why this is an award-winning book. It’s beautifully presented, the type of book you would be proud to have on your bookshelf for all time. This illustrated gift book celebrates pregnancy, labour, birth, and motherhood, with fascinating folklore from across the world and through the generations.

‘Being born is the first defining act of our identity in all cultures,’ the authors share in their introduction. From there they look at everything from an old Russian proverb that claims the labour will go more smoothly if the parents-to-be confess the names of all their previous lovers - so all the screaming in the delivery suite might not be pain related! Then there is how how Turkish women literally let their hair down in preparation for birth.

Hawaiian folklore dictates that if you naturally start walking with your right foot first, you will have a boy. There is a section on doting husbands and how they can help. There is information from diverse cultures, and things like who can touch a pregnant woman’s stomach.

An interesting read with a good dose of humour and fun, Little Gems makes an ideal gift for new mums. It is just delightful!

Reviewer: Karen McMillan


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