When it comes to children's issues, after many years as a father you are halfway armed.

We know the range of topics that can be addressed very suddenly: How big is Jupiter?

What do you need the spleen for?

How many weeks have I lived already?

And you know how to answer these questions, albeit often with the standard sentence: "Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly, I have to look it up on the Internet."

Jörg Thomann

Editor in the "Life" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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From time to time, however, there are situations in which the whole routine does not help.

The moment, for example, when a ten-year-old girl who has secretly rummaged through the old issues of her older sister's Bravo asks: "Dad, what is an ejaculation?"

Alone or as a couple

Well Now. A purely technical answer doesn't really get you any further, it needs a larger context, with which we would be with orgasm, which is a very interesting thing and which, by the way, is very important, because there is talk to a girl, also to women, And if you now get into lecturing about sexual self-determination and about feelings that you can experience as a couple and, incidentally, also alone, then in the worst case you have told a lot more than the child ever wanted to hear from his father. The best thing to do is to quickly direct the conversation to Jupiter, which incidentally has a diameter of 143,000 kilometers.

Now, if you are a little lucky, you are not entirely on your own when faced with childlike questions about human reproduction. There is, ideally, an impartial, eloquent partner, there is - if not sacrificed to lockdown - sex education as a school subject, and there is the circle of friends of the child, which of course impresses more with colorful vocabulary than with deep biological knowledge. And there are books. Some for teenagers, but also some for smaller children, with a wide variety of approaches. Most of these books have the best of intentions; they are often useful, often a little embarrassing, but almost always controversial. For some they are too explicit, for others too prudish, too old-fashioned or too progressive. The book “A Baby! How a family is made ”, which is published this week by Penguin Junior, will spark a lot of discussion.

All forms

The publisher advertises the work of London-based children's book editor Rachel Greener as an “educational book that includes all family forms” and also “all body forms” - and thus depicts “what has long been social reality”.

There is something to it, and the fact that the book would immediately land on the index in Viktor Orbán's Hungary is not the worst thing that can currently be said about an educational book.

The illustrator Clare Owen shows couples in many cute, colorful pictures, one with dark skin and the other with light skin.

Couples, one of whom is in a wheelchair, and all-female or male couples.

People with children without any partner or parents who are three.

"You and your family are just great - just the way you are!", The author assures the young readership.