A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Explains breast development, menstruation, hair growth, and other changes that come with puberty. Packed with practical tips: how to shave, use sanitary pads, get gum out of your hair, cope with swimmer's ear, eat healthfully, choose a bra, avoid athlete's foot, get rid of warts, warm up and cool down when you exercise, and much more.
Focus on what your body can do, not what it looks like. Be kind to yourself and others. Instead of lashing out or isolating yourself when you're angry or unhappy, try to talk it out. Anger can be helpful when it leads to change. There's no reason to be ashamed about your body. Strong emphasis on confidence and being true to yourself. Warns against drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Includes some negative messages about appearance, weight and dieting, in the form of questions girls may be asking themselves about their appearance and weight, that could be damaging for young girls.
Positive Role Models
Depicts girls with a variety of skin shades, hair types, and body shapes cheerfully taking care of themselves and bringing concerns to caring adults.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, published by American Girl, is a thorough, practical head-to-toe handbook to help girls handle everyday hygiene and manage the physical and emotional changes of early puberty. Author Valorie Lee Schaefer walks girls through the basics of puberty, including how girls' bodies change, how to choose a bra, and what menstruation is and how to manage it. It also discusses basic self-care from good sleep habits to exercise and nutrition, and discusses issues surrounding body image, including some negative messages about weight and dieting that could be damaging for young girls. Illustrations depict breast development and how to use sanitary pads. The book does not cover sexual activity.
Is It Any Good?
This empowering self-care manual is targeted to young girls who are on the brink of growing up -- and trying to figure out how to embrace these major changes with competence and confidence. Valorie Lee Schaeffer's mostly positive language and Josee Masse's cheerful illustrations help strip away self-consciousness children might have about discussing puberty or personal hygiene. It is important to note that while informative, this book does include some negative messages about body image and dieting that could be damaging for young girls.
Schaeffer offers tons of practical tips for solving problems girls might not even think to ask their parents about. She also urges girls to ask trusted adults for help and more information; parents may want to preview the book before handing over to kids, and then check in and make themselves available for questions. Older girls -- or girls who've already begun their period -- may appreciate the companion book, The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.