Book Review: Hair in Funny Places: A Book About Puberty

For about six months, my 9-year-old son read this book obsessively, giggling the whole time, and even my ultra-cool 5th- and 6th-grade students crack smiles when they see Mr. and Mrs. Hormone and their mischievous dog. Though this book is hetero-normative in its portrayal of romance (i.e., the romance of the main character’s parents), its light-hearted introduction of puberty secures it a permanent home on my book shelf. After all, shouldn’t every discussion of puberty begin with a smile or a laugh?!? A video of Cath Hakanson reading the book can be seen here. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: What Makes a Baby: A Book for Every Kind of Family and Every Kind of Kid

Fiona Smyth’s rainbow of gender-spectrum characters pair perfectly with Cory Silverberg’s magical explanation of human conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. As the text does not specify how the egg and sperm come together, this book offers a unique opportunity for families formed through adoption, surrogacy, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, or plain, old penis-vagina intercourse to fill in the gaps to match each child’s unique life story. The book can be purchased here.

Book Review: Everyone’s Got a Bottom

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This wonderful little book for children of all ages introduces the concepts of body boundaries, self-care, and privacy, provides simple illustrations of typical male and female external genitals, and accurately names the genitals. It emphasizes the importance of children being able to talk openly with adults they trust about these concepts and their bodies and includes additional information for parents regarding prevention and detection of sexual abuse. Sex educator Cath Hakanson has created a video of herself reading Everyone’s Got a Bottom here. The book is only available from the Australian distributor, Lighthouse Resources.

Book Review: The Baby Tree

Sophie Blackall’s whimsical illustrations depict the euphemisms and partial answers that adults often use to avoid answering the question, “Where do babies come from?” This sweet and simple story will allow any adult who works with children to approach a child’s curiosity about human reproduction in a nurturing and age-appropriate way. The last page of the book includes sample questions and answers that may be especially valuable for adults who sincerely want to answer a child’s questions but are searching for the right words.

The book can be purchased here.