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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.104 n.6 Pretoria Jun. 2014




273 Amazing Days: The Story of Life Before Birth




By Peter Folb. AuthorHouse UK, 2014. ISBN (paperback) 978-1 4918-8814-8; ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4918-8815-5. Author email:

This is a story of the marvel of human life from conception to birth. Although the book was designed for young readers, it is suitable for use by anybody who wishes to know about our conception, development and birth. It can be appreciated at several levels. Firstly, it is a fascinating story, told simply and with wise interspersed comments; secondly, the author's numerous colourful illustrations and line drawings are works of art (created on his iPad - previously he was noted for his woodcut art); and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the main messages are conveyed by exquisite poetry (mainly haiku, a Japanese form of poetry, examples of which have appeared in the SAMJ, and grooks - originally a form of short, pithy Danish poetry). Here is an example.

Blastocyst - life already planned

Life already planned

Like writing in the sand

Half-mum, half-dad I will be

And in larger part, just me


J P van Niekerk

Consulting Editor, SAMJ

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License