Books for Kids about Sex & Reproduction
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Books for Kids about Sex & Reproduction
I have been very open with my two daughters, 5 and 7, when they
have asked me question about pregnancy and childbirth, but have
not gone into details of the mechanics of sex since they
haven't asked me this specifically. I know that some of their
classmates have a more detailed understanding and I'm afraid
that unless I start talking about sexuality to them more
specifically they are going to get an incomplete picture from
their friends. I've seen books in the past that are geared
toward young children explaining not only about pregnancy and
childbirth but also the concepts of relationships and
pleasure. Does anyone know of any good ones?
Starting the Conversation
My recommendation is that old standby, through which many of
our generation learned the birds'n'bees stuff: Where Did I Come
From? by Peter Mayle (he of ''A Year in Provence'' fame, oddly
enough), illustrated by Arthur Robbins. My husband and I, who
both had this book as seventies kids, still get a giggle out of
the description of orgasm (I don't think that word is actually
used): ''It's like being tickled, only much better.'' Anyway, the
book is still in print, it has great cartoon illustrations
which are frank but not overly explicit, and best of all, it's
funny. After all, if you can't find the humor in sex, you
probably can't find much humor in anything.
Still chuckling twenty-five years later
There is an Usborne book that I gave my son when he was around
4 - I can't remember the name, but something like ''how babies
are made''. It had details about how babies are made, including
the stuff about chromosomes and development (which kids that age
are fascinated by), and touched lightly on the mechanical aspect
of sexual intercourse. It seemed good enough for him at that
age. Check out Cody's in Berkeley and look through the books to
see what you're comfortable with.
I like the book ''Isn't It Amazing!''
I've seen some children's books explaining sexuality at Good Vibrations on San Pablo. Even if you choose not to buy they might give you some new ideas on how to proceed. My bet is that they have a wider selection for varying ages than what you might find at a bookstore not specializing in sexuality. I have seen some books about changing bodies and reproduction at Cody's, but they seem to include limited information on sexuality.
Check out the following two books and decide which goes into the
amount of detail that you prefer. They are by the same author
and are excellent! In my opinion, the first book I list would
probably be about the age right level.
It's so amazing! a book about eggs, sperm, birth, babies and
families. Author: Robie Harris.
It's perfectly normal: changing bodies, growing up, sex and
sexual health. (I think that this book would work for upper
elementary and middle schoolers)
The casual, chatty style of the author and the absolutely
charming illustrations by Michael Emberley make these books
appealing to adults and kids. The frank, no-nonsense coverage of
sex is also right on.
I'm sure your local library would have them.
I really liked the book ''It's So Amazing'' by Robie Harris. My
7 year old son seemed to really enjoy it as well. I thought it
balanced its description of sexuality, love, families, HIV, ''OK
touches'', adoption, etc. in a very appropriate way.
I had this very same question recently and asked a couple of my
friends who have kids in the 4-8 range, like I do, and they
recommended ''It's So Amazing,'' a book that adresses this subject
in some detail, in a cartoon format with info delivered at a
child's level, I'd say around age 6-12, though everyone's opinion
differs. I got it, and although I haven't been through the whole
thing, it was just what I was looking for, how to ''start the
conversation.'' My 8 year old son was fascinated the first night
and wouldn't put it down. That's another nice thing, readers can
read it themselves, because it's written for a child to
understand. I don't remember the author right now, but the
illustrator is Michael Emberley. It's available at Amazon, and
probably elsewhere. Mid-size paperback.
It's great you want to educate your kids!
I find the Public Libraries are a great resource and children's
librarians have good ideas. Berkeley Public Library has a handout
with book suggestions about sex and growing up. For elementary
age it includes: Asking about sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
and It's so amazing! A book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and
Families by R Harris.
I work with kids and have taught about sex using How Babies Are
Made by A.Andry and S.Schepp. I like it though it is kind of
old-fashioned in the illustrations, which look like paper
cut-outs. It first talks about animals' reproduction and then
gets to humans; it explains about sex with correct anatomical
terms but no explicit illustrations.
A good resource is SEICUS (Sexuality Information and Education
Council of the U.S). They have a bibliography at
Remember the key is being an askable parent!
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