My sister asked me what books I found to educate our kids about their bodies and the many changes we go through in our lifespan. While I didn’t do extensive research; I got a few recommendations from friends and browsed the sex ed section at a book store, I feel this is a solid list for the different life stages a child goes through. I also couldn’t find any lists on-line, so I’m posting mine here!
- For young kids (0 – 5years) – “How you were born” by Joanna Cole, 1993 – No mention of sexual intercourse, and awesome actual pictures of a fetus in-utero! The family photos are multicultural, heterosexual only, and from the 1980’s.
- The book cover says ages 7 and up – “It’s so Amazing!” by Robie H. Harris, 2002- Our 6 year old read it too with some things going over her head. The 8 year old understood it though. Fun comic-like pictures. 75% pictures, 25% words. Lots of detail and pics: circumcised vs not, tampon vs pads, different kinds of love – for your dog/grandmother/parents/girlfiriend/etc., gay/straight/lesbian/etc. all explained, alternative methods of joining an egg and sperm, twins/preemies/etc., adoptions of many types, chromosomes, ok vs not ok touching, sexual abuse defined, illustrated naked pics of male and female progression from baby to “old” age.The annoying part of the book is that they want to be all inclusive on every sentence in the book so the sentences have multiple nouns and are repetitive. There were a few sentences I rearranged into my own words to better fit the message I wanted to get across, but overall a great book.
- The book cover says for pre-teens and teens: “What’s happening to my body?” Book for Boys (and there is one for Girls) by Lynda Madaras (with help from her daughter starting when the daughter was 11years old, mine was updated in 2007) – I feel like it’s for a mature pre-teen or needs to be read with parents, good for teens. Lots of words, hand-drawn diagrams and pics which could be better. Topics covered: Masturbation, orgasm, child abuse, pics of adolescents with the 3 main body types (ectomorph, endomorph, mesomorph), a few pages on homosexuality/bisexulaity; detailed different stages of growth in puberty, etc., etc. We have the book for boys and it shows a few pages of girls’ anatomy, and the growing fetus, and a whole chapter on Girls’ Puberty. In total the boys’ book is over 200 pages! Suggestions for further reading on different topics are given at the end of the book.
- What do people look like without clothes on? I wanted to show my curious child, (11 years old), respectful, fully nude, non-photoshopped, actual sized bodies (ie. not super-skinny, or women with outrageous sized breasts, etc.), non-sexually suggestive, multi-aged, multi-racial, photos. Instead of getting all his information from internet/YouTube sensationalism. The best thing I came up with was this series of books: “Art Models 4; Life Nude Photos for the Visual Arts” by Maureen and Douglas Johnson. If you know of something better please tell me. Of course all the models are adults, for better or worse, I don’t expect I could find any books with kids at different ages, except those hand drawn, and that’s understandable – to protect the kids. includes a disk with 100’s of poses of the models. Watch out some of these ‘books’ are now for sale only on disk! This volume 4 includes; 2 white female pregnant models, 2 male and 2 female black models, a female model of unknown origin – mix of white/black? hispanic?, a white skinned red-haired female model, 3 white male models aged ~70years, 40 years, 30 years, and about 3 other white skinned/female models in 20’s, there are interacting male/female posses (eating dinner, leaning on each other, etc. – for the most part more artistic than sexual). There is some sculptured pubic hair and tan lines – otherwise, all natural! And lots of different body angles – rear shots, side shots, bending over shots, etc.
- For an introduction to Anatomy for kids this book is good and shows pictures of a plastic dummy’s interior parts and organs (instead of a real cadaver):“Inside Guides: Human Body” by Dr. Frances Williams from DK Publisher, 1997.