From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–This title tackles basic body awareness and sex education. The text speaks directly to young children, differentiating between body parts that are visible more often than not and those that are kept hidden, showing the differences between girls and boys and offering a simple explanation of how babies are made without explicit reference to sex. Cravath’s sunny cartoons show the quite a lot of parts in a straightforward manner, though preschoolers may be perplexed about where the internal ones are. The text also uses terms such as “vagina” and “urinate” without in fact explaining what they mean, and, curiously, the text does not discuss breasts at all, though there are side-by-side illustrations of a boy and girl in the baby, preschool, and adult stages. An writer’s note advises parents on the finer points of discussing these delicate issues. Though Laurie Krasny Brown’s What’s the Big Secret?: Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys (Little, Brown, 1997) remains the gold standard for sex ed for young children, this book is a friendly supplement or a nice starter for parents who are not moderately ready to go into the detail provided in Brown’s book.–Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia
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PreS-Gr. 2. This upbeat picture book, illustrated with sunny cartoon drawings, introduces kids to basic reproductive physiology. Saltz offers simple, accessible definitions of terms, accompanied by pictures of unclothed kids and labeled diagrams of internal organs. Subsequent drawings show three stages of body development from baby to young adult, followed by an abbreviated explanation, illustrated with a heart-shaped drawing of a smiling egg and sperm, of reproduction: “When a man and a woman love each other and come to a decision that they want to have a baby, a man’s sperm joins with a woman’s egg. From the egg and sperm, a baby will grow.” The book is more specific about birth: “The baby will come out of the mother’s vagina, which is very, very stretchy.” Saltz presents the information clearly in a cheerful, positive tone, encouraging kids to learn about their private parts and reassuring them that curiosity and touching themselves (in private) is natural. For a relatively older audience, Dori Hillestad Butler’s exemplary picture book My Mom’s Having a Baby (2005) explains the facts of life in more detail. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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“Mom, where do babies come from?”Many parents live in fear of the day their child asks that question—which inevitably happens, incessantly as early as the preschool years. Here is a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming sexually aware but are not 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. Lynne Cravath’s whimsical illustrations enliven the text, making this a book that parents will gladly share with their young ones.