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Book Review: Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families

Embrace your child's curiosity. While you have written the beginning of their story, the rest of the story is theirs to write! - Shubha Swamy, Novo Psychotherapy
Front cover of Liam's blueprints A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Mom Families showing a boy and a rainbow

"Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families" masterfully explains donor conception to our children. This tender story begins with Liam, who is eager for his first day of school, celebrating with a set of building blocks gifted by his mother, an architect. As they walk to school, his mother explains her work and how blueprints guide the construction of houses, setting the stage for a meaningful conversation about the blueprints of life.

text from Liam's Blueprints showing the metaphor of the story includes a baby
Genetics Made Simple: Blueprints and building blocks are used to explain donor conception


The brilliance of this children’s book lies in its effective use of the blueprint metaphor. Just as blueprints are essential in building a house, the story explains that “YOU prints” (or genetic blueprints) are fundamental in creating a baby. This metaphor makes the complex process of donor conception easy for young minds to follow. Liam’s understanding of blueprints from his mother’s work as an architect allows him to grasp the idea of genetic contributions in a simple way. Liam’s mother explains how some of his traits come from her and some from the sperm donor, likening these traits to the building blocks of who he is. This part of the story helps children understand the genetic contribution of the sperm donor while emphasizing that their unique personality and identity are shaped by a combination of genetics and the environment provided by their mother. For single mothers by choice, this theme underscores the message that our children are complete individuals, shaped by love, and defined by more than just their genetic makeup.


"Liam's Blueprints" excels in its gentle and clear explanation of donor conception. When Liam asks if a mommy and daddy are necessary to make a baby, his mother explains that there are many ways to create a family, including with the help of donors. The concept of a donor is introduced as a "special helper" who provides one of the essential building blocks—sperm or egg. The book does not shy away from using correct scientific terms, such as sperm, egg, embryo, and uterus. These terms are presented in an age-appropriate context, ensuring that children are not only educated about the biological aspects of conception but also comfortable with the language. The explanation of the roles of sperm and egg, and how they combine to create an embryo, is handled delicately, ensuring clarity. The straightforward approach to explaining donor conception demystifies the process without overwhelming young readers, offering a reassuring and inclusive perspective on family creation.

Liam is building blocks in front of his mother and dog in the lounge of the book Liam's Blueprints
Artful Storytelling: Janne Maru's illustrations bring the story to life


The illustrations by Janne Maru bring the book to life with warmth and vibrancy. Maru's art beautifully complements the narrative, making complex concepts accessible through engaging visuals. Each page is thoughtfully designed to reflect the emotions and themes of the story, from the cozy atmosphere of Liam’s home to the imaginative scenes of blueprints and construction. Maru’s illustrations not only enhance the storytelling but also create an inviting and comforting visual experience for children, making this book a delightful and educational read.


A standout theme in "Liam's Blueprints" is the mother's constant reassurance and invitation for open communication. She emphasizes to Liam that he can always come to her with questions or feelings about their family story. This aspect of the book highlights something essential for both you and your child: the importance of emotional security and open dialogue. It's a comforting reminder that your family is built on love and support, extending far beyond just biological connections.

SMBC and their children showing that children of SMBC are not alone
"Liam's Blueprints" reminds children of SMBC that they're part of a supportive community.


"Liam's Blueprints" normalizes diverse family structures, showing that having a single mother by choice and being donor-conceived is just one of many ways to form a family. This theme fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance, highlighting that all families are valid and special. Liam's interaction with his friend Max, who has a different family structure, illustrates the variety of family compositions in a way that is inclusive and affirming. It's a gentle reminder that your family's uniqueness is something to be celebrated, and that love is what truly defines a family.


The book concludes with a special feature—a blank page where you can add a photograph or personal information. This touch transforms the book into a personalized keepsake, allowing your child to see their own family story within its pages. Additionally, the discussion guide at the back, written by Pyschotherapist Shubha Swamy, offers practical advice on how to address questions and feelings about donor conception. Covering four key topics, this guide ensures that the book serves as an educational tool tailored to each family’s unique story.


If you're a solo mother by choice seeking a heartfelt and informative way to explain donor conception to your child, "Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story For Single by Choice Families" is an ideal choice. This book will help your child understand their unique and special family story, and recognize the immense love that brought them into your life. Purchase "Liam's Blueprints" today and embark on this enlightening and loving journey with your child. Who is the book aimed at?

  • Children conceived using donor sperm in a medical setting via IVF or ICSI


What are other solo mothers by choice saying about this book?

They loved

  • the story and the use of a metaphor to explain donor conception

  • the thoughtful advice included in the discussion guide

  • the break away from traditional gender roles with mum being an architect and Liam playing with dolls

They wished

  • the book could be even further personalized with their own child's name.



Click the link below to purchase "Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families" and explore a heartwarming tale that beautifully explains donor conception, celebrating the love and uniqueness of your family.


Did you enjoy Liam's Blueprints Book Review?

Thank you for joining me on this exploration of Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families. Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below sharing your experience with the book or let me know if you enjoyed Liam's Blueprints Book Review and would like more reviews on children's books tailored for Single Mothers by Choice (SMBC) addressing the concept of donor conception. Your feedback is invaluable!


I would like to express my gratitude to Sharon Leya for granting permission to feature images of the book cover and excerpts in this review. All images used are included with the explicit consent of the author. All thoughts and opinions expressed about the book are entirely my own, providing an unbiased and authentic perspective you can trust.


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