What's the Big Secret?

August 10, 2018
Subheader: 

Could it be... cookies?

Review: 

It's not bad, but I'm not impressed by it. It does actually use the words "placenta" and "umbilical cord," which other books seem to avoid for some bizarre reason. It starts out pretty similar to other books-- what's the difference between girls and boys? That's not a difference... That's not a difference... Oh, it's their bodies! One interesting snippet: "You may hear all kinds of words used to talk about girls' and boys' genitals. There are personal names, silly names, even rude, insulting names called swears." And then it says, which is cool, "Find out the correct names for as many parts of the body as you can." It uses the word "vulva" instead of the incorrect "vagina." It says not to look at people when they're naked unless it's okay with them, and don't touch people if they don't want to be touched. It actually uses the word "masturbation": "Touching and rubbing your genitals to feel good is called masturbation. Some of us try this; some of us don't. However, it's best to do this private kind of touching off by yourself." A decent, if non-committal, way of describing that. It kind of mentions as an aside, "No one has the right to touch you in a way that feels wrong or uncomfortable. If you don't like the way someone touches you, speak up and tell him or her to stop. If that doesn't work, tell your mom or dad or another grown-up." It doesn't go into any more than that (like, for example, what to do if the person tells you not to tell your mom or dad).

It mentions that the "reason" that boys and girls are different physically is because that's necessary for making a baby, but helpfully adds, "However, not every grown-up is a mother or a father. You can be a woman or a man and not be a parent, if you so choose." It might not be necessary for books to mention that, but it is a nice plus. It then says, "A man and a woman fit his penis into her vagina." Which it describes as "sexual intercourse." It mentions the sperm meeting an egg, and generally the baby taking about nine months to grow, without talking about the stages of development like other books I've read recently. It does not mention cesarean section, which is weird, although it says, "In most births, the baby comes out the vagina," which makes it sound like in other births it comes out through the mouth or something.

Then it basically says that as you grow up you'll go through puberty, but have fun being a little kid now. So parts of it feel sparse compared to other books. The information it does have is accurate, but I'm probably not going to use it to teach my kids. I would understand if other parents used it, though.

Message: 

Boys and girls are different physically. They mature into men and women who can have babies together.

Illustrator
Publication Year
  • 1997
Age Range
Age Range: 
4-7
Number of Pages
Number of Pages: 
29
Number of Words on Typical Page
Number of Words: 
50

Comments

Disturbing book!!!

I am appalled after reading this book not only is it totally inappropriate for children to read by telling them it’s ok to touch and rub each other’s private parts if it “feels good” not once does it say it’s not ok for adults to touch kids even if it “ feels good “ to them there are pictures of children playing Dr talking saying things like “ I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” in what world is that ok with anyone? The fact that they are explaining to children how to have sex is baffling to me! I believe there is a way better way to explain to kids the difference between male and female and how babies are made without going into detail on how they would go about having sex with each other and the fact that the author has a boy and a girl confirming if they are boyfriend and girlfriend is unacceptable because it’s giving the child reading it the impression that if they are in a relationship they can have sex. I personally think the book is discussing and should be taking out of all libraries and also removed from online stores!!! And people wonder why children are having sex and having babies younger and younger because people like this are writing how to books!

I do not recall a section

I do not recall a section where it told children it was "ok to touch and rub each other's private parts." Their own, in the sense of masturbation, yes.

And children are curious. When they learn that there is another biological sex than their own, they naturally want to see what it looks like. A book like this gives an example of what that looks like, so they don't have to ask other children, in a way that, if they are young enough, is completely asexual.

Explaining what sex is, and how it is accomplished, is part of the point of this book. It is completely untrue that "children are having sex and having babies younger and younger" in the first place-- teen pregnancy is at a record low. Avoiding the discussion of sex just causes many children to seek out information from other sources. If you don't teach your children about sex, somebody else will. And they might not give them accurate information. Much better to get a book along these lines and make sure they not only get accurate information, but end up with a healthy attitude towards sex. "Never talk about it" and "It is disgusting" are not healthy attitudes.

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