Review Policy

Friday, October 8, 2010

Book Review: Where Do Babies Come From?

Last year, one of my sisters asked me for book recommendations explaining the birds and the bees to children. Her second and fourth grader were starting to ask the big questions! And from the hilarious story she told me - her scientific explanations weren't going over very well. So I went to my local bookstore and read every book they had on the subject. I picked out a few books and these are the two that went over very well with her kiddos. I talked my sister into sharing her thoughts on how it went. Here is her review........

Amazing You! Getting Smart About Your Private Parts
Author: Dr. Gail Saltz
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: "Mom, where do babies come from?" Many parents live in fear of that question which inevitably comes up, often as early as the preschool years. Here is a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming sexually aware, but aren't ready to learn about sexual intercourse. Written with warmth and honesty, Amazing You! presents clear and age-appropriate information about reproduction, birth, and the difference between girls' and boys' bodies. Dr Saltz's upbeat tone promotes a healthy attitude about body image, while Lynne Cravath's lighthearted illustrations enliven the text, making this a book that parents will gladly share with their young ones.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This was my daughter's (second grader) favorite book out of the bunch. It was easy for her to understand thanks to the simple explanations and concrete illustrations. I recommend this as a good first book when kids are a little younger (second grade and under). It does not go into too many details which can confuse kids. With the other books, I watched her kind of "zoning out" because it was too complicated for her to understand and had way too much information for her to process. Amazing You also gave a little preview of the boys and girls changing bodies which prompted some good questions from my daughter. Loved the messages about sex being for people in love. The message that it's okay to ask questions was also something I appreciated. That felt encouraging for my daughter. My son (fourth grader) did not like this book at all. He felt it was way too childish. Read on......

Changing You! A Guide to Body Changes and Sexuality
Author: Gail Saltz
Interest Level: Ages 9-12

From the Book Jacket: Kids have a lot of questions - and things can get tricky when those questions are about sex. In her follow-up to Amazing You!, Dr. Gail Saltz navigates curious youngsters through anatomy, body changes for boys and girls, sexual intercourse, reproduction, and emerging sexuality with her renowned brand of warmth and candor. Lynne Avril Cravath's lively, endearing illustrations complement the text's direct, honest approach to questions about sex and the human body. This refreshingly accessible book also includes an author's not to parents.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This was my son's (fourth grade) favorite. He said he liked it very much. My son is very inquisitivie, and this one had the appropriate amount of details to help his understanding and answer his many questions. But my younger daughter thought it was too confusing with too much information. In fact she said, "I will never remember all this stuff". I felt this book was perfect for someone my son's age. It addressed not only the physical changes but the emotional changes kids go through during puberty. I liked how it addressed and illustrated body changes like growing hair, more frequent erections, how breasts grow and menstruation. All of the things that are very difficult to explain on my own. Even though my daughter is too little right now, I felt it was good for my son to get a little understanding about this. I also loved how they stated girls can feel "crampy and grumpy". Again, like the other book I liked the message that men and women have sex when they love each other. And that it feels good for both men and women. This was a question both of my kids had about sex, thinking that it sounded painful. Changing You also took a positive perspective on men and women in love. It explained that kissing and cuddling is a very special way of expressing how much they love each other. I understand as they get older, they may get different messages (negative) from different sources about sex.....messages I don't want them to get.  But I would like them to start out with a positive message. 

A Link to These Books:

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