Who Has a Belly Button?

by Mary Batten
Illustrated by Higgins Bond
Belly buttons! Everyone has one. Some are innies. Some are outies. And they always fascinate young children.
Price: $15.95

Out of stock

  • ISBN: 9781561452354
  • Publication date: 08/01/2003
  • Page Count: 32
  • Size: 10-3/4" x 9-3/4"
  • Age Range: 6-10


Belly buttons! Everyone has one. Some are innies. Some are outies. And they always fascinate young children.

Why humans have belly buttons and why some animals do—and others do not—is the subject of this informative, fascinating look at the lifeline that attaches mammals to their mothers before birth. The book also depicts how humans and other mammals continue to nourish their young after birth, and looks at the special circumstance surrounding the births of certain animals, such as panda bears, African elephants, and blue whales.

Using simple but scientifically-accurate terms and anatomically correct illustrations, award-winning science writer Mary Batten and veteran natural-science illustrator Higgins Bond explain to children what umbilical cords are, how they help a developing fetus, and finally, how belly buttons (or navels) are created after the baby is born and the cord is cut.


Mary Batten


Mary Batten, an award-winning writer for television, film and publishing, was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Children’s Television Workshop’s science series 3-2-1 Contact and has written more than fifty nature documentaries for television, including the syndicated series Wild Wild World of Animals. She is the author of numerous picture books, including Aliens from Earth, Please Don’t Wake the Animals, and Hey, Daddy! In preparation for writing Life in a Frozen World, she consulted with several scientists who specialize in the study of Antarctica, its wildlife, and the effects of climate change on this unique continent.

Higgins Bond


Higgins Bond received a BFA from the Memphis College of Art and has illustrated many books for children. She lives in Tennessee.


“An informative and interesting look at how belly buttons are formed and how they differ on people and the animals that have them… This inviting book is useful for both reports and answering kids’ questions.” ―School Library Journal

“Belly buttons are just the starting point for a fascinating look at how mammals develop… An especially wonderful book to share with youngsters awaiting the birth of a sibling, and a great addition to the nonfiction library collection.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Through this beautifully illustrated book, children at kindergarten or first grade level can explore the belly buttons of gigantic blue whales and miniscule bumblebee bats…This is an ideal read-aloud to begin a study of life cycles…This delightful book will satisfy the natural curiosity of primary students within a scientific framework.” ―NSTA Recommends


NSTA Recommends ―National Science Teachers Association, 2004


Resources: Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

More Details

AR Level: 4.3
F&P: GRL R, Gr 4, Genre I
Themes: Birth, Mammals, Pregnancy
BISAC 1: JNF051030 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Anatomy & Physiology
BISAC 2: JNF003140 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Animals / Mammals
BISAC 3: JNF013110 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Concepts / Body