What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that if a child has a question about anything you may find awkward or embarrassing discussing with them, they'll find almost all the answers in this book. Which is why parents will want to preview first to see if it's a fit for where their child is developmentally, as well as a fit for the way individual families feel comfortable framing the birds-and-bees conversation. The illustrations may be cartoons but they are accurate depictions of penises, vaginas, kids peeing, babies in bellies, etc. Sex to make a baby is shown as a smiling couple under covers in bed. A two-page spread discusses "Okay Touches, Not Okay Touches" and how to tell the difference and tell another adult about "Not Okay touches." In a section on families, every kind of family is mentioned, including families with two moms and two dads.
What's the story?
Starting with a chapter called "So-ooo many questions!" where kids are encouraged to be inquisitive, this book works its way through all the big topics: how boys and girls are the same and different, what their bodies look like, what all the parts are for, what happens to girls and boys as they grow, how sperm and eggs are made, how a baby is made, how the baby grows and lives in the womb, how a baby is born, all the kinds of families the baby can be a part of (parents, step-parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, same-sex parents), what touches are "okay" and "not okay," and why growing up is great.
Is it any good?
Yes, this book does what it sets out to do in a very straightforward manner that all kids will appreciate -- they're not talked down to for a second. The book covers a lot of ground, and is a good one to skip around to different chapters as different questions arise. Young kids awaiting a new sibling will get a lot out of the baby portion, especially. The one thing that seems to be missing is a mention of periods (it's covered in the next in the series, It's So Amazing, but it's pretty much guaranteed a child will come across some feminine products in the bathroom before they're old enough for that book).
Two cartoon characters, a bird and a bee, are present throughout, having their own side conversation that may mirror any questions kids may have before they know the facts. These characters are charming for the most part but sometimes make the presentation a little too busy. It's a small trifle in an otherwise well-thought-out tool for parents ready to finally answer all those "embarrassing" questions.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about any questions they may have after sharing this book. What did you know already? What do you want to know more about?
Discuss why these topics can be hard to talk about. What do kids find embarrassing? What do parents? Are you less embarrassed now that you know the facts?
Parents will, of course, also want to talk about when discussing these topics is best. At the dinner table? Or at home with parents while getting ready for bed?