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Book Review -- Baby NOT On Board

My first impression when I picked up Baby NOT On Board was “what a fun book!” With its bright green cover and rounded corners, one look at this book tells you this isn’t your ordinary paperback.

Author Jennifer L. Shawne weaves humor throughout her fun-filled prose, poking fun at parents and our child-centered society, while reinforcing the notion that choosing not to have kids is *OK*. With chapters like “Sharp Edges: Welcome to your childfree lifestyle” and “Other People’s Children: Keeping your cool in a world filled with drool,” Jennifer sprinkles her prose with neat timelines, charts, lists and quizzes that really bring this book to life.

She begins with advice on “sharing the big news” that you and your partner have chosen the child free lifestyle. “In most cases, your announcement will be greeted with squeals of delight, tears of joy, and congratulatory champagne toasts,” she writes. “Alas, a handful of people may cling to the outdated notion that having kids is right and good, while not having them is flat-out freaky.”

The next page features a quiz to determine if you are “ready to announce,” followed by a hysterical list of personality types that are sure to resonate with every reader. Are you the Political Abstainer, Sprog Snob, Cool Aunt/Uncle, Career Champ, Clerical Celibate, Tortured Artiste, Waffling Procrastinator, Peter Pan, or DINKs (Double Income No Kids)? I discovered I am a combination of Sprog Snob, Career Champ, and DINK!

As a lover of fine food, one of my favorite little extras is a spoof on the food pyramid:

Your Diet: Eggs & Dairy
Fondue, lattes, crème caramel, artisinal cheeses

Your Diet with Kids: Eggs & Dairy
Strawberry-flavored milk, frozen pizza, twinkie pie, green eggs and ham

Your Diet: Fruits & Veggies
Edible undies, chardonnay, steamed white asparagus, brandied baked pears

Your Diet with Kids: Fruits & Veggies
Juice boxes, individually sliced grapes, Jell-O, pureed carrots

Your Diet: Meat, Fish & Poultry
Lobster bisque, kobe beef, foie gras, roasted quail

Your Diet with Kids: Meat, Fish & Poultry
Tuna casserole, processed meat product, corn dogs, beef chili

Your Diet: Carbohydrates
Sushi sushi sushi!, French toast, beer bread, rum cake

Your Diet with Kids: Carbohydrates
Boxed macaroni and cheese, animal-shaped crackers, graham crackers, toaster tarts

Illustrator Anoushka Matus’ delightful graphics and drawings keep this book light-hearted and entertaining.

In short, this is a quick read that had me chuckling, and I must admit, I read most of it aloud to my husband. So pick up a copy and prepare to laugh!


COMING SOON: An interview with author Jennifer L. Shawne




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