I found out what sex was from my friend Natalie, while waiting in line for lunch when I was in second grade. I was six. My mom was disappointed, because she wanted to tell me herself. I don’t remember thinking that the whole p-in-the-v thing was a big deal, but it probably would have been nicer to hear it from my mom rather than another kid, you know? There are all sorts of approaches to initiating children into the basic facts of life, but if you’re looking for a little help from some fun, informative printed materials, I’ve got the hook up. Here are some awesome books about bodies, babies, sex, and relationships.
For The Little Ones
What Makes A Baby by Cory Silverberg: This bright, colorful and very modern picture book is a hit amongst toddlers on up. It’s super inclusive in terms of language, so it’s great for nontraditional families.
I Said No! A Kid Guide To Keeping Your Private Parts Private by Kimberly King: This isn’t just about sex, but it’s a great resource to have on hand for teaching children about consent, appropriate touching, and more.
“Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle: This book is straightforward, with cute (yet somewhat graphic!) illustrations and real talk about the mechanics of sex and bodies.
It’s Not The Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families And Friends by Robie Harris: At 64 pages, this is pretty long. But it’s really great! The illustrations are adorable and the science is on point. It’s appropriate for kids from when they start to read up until age ten or so, depending on their interests and maturity levels.
How Babies Are Made by Steven Schepp and Andrew Audry: This book is a bit of a throwback, first published in 1968. But it has simple, gorgeous illustrations and explains the processes of reproduction starting with flowers and continuing with humans.
For The Slightly Older Ones
Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Books Collective and Judy Norsigian: This is the classic! I once saw a Mommyish commenter say she wouldn’t give this to her daughter because it doesn’t have Christian values, but if that’s not a concern for you, it’s a terrific text for tween and teenage girls.
Deal With It: A Whole New Approach To Your Body, Brain And Life As A Gurl by Esther Drill, Rebecca Odes and Heather McDonald: Ok, so this is out of print, but it’s super cheap on Amazon. I loved this book as a teen and it was created by our sister site, Gurl.com! A great resource for teenage girls on sex, bodies, and relationships.
The Body Book For Boys by Rebecca Paley, Grace Norwich and Jonathan Mar: So many books about puberty and sex are geared towards girls, but this one is specifically for boys! The cover picture kinda cracks me up, with the attractive teen boy cartoon (see above), but hey, if it works, it works.
Sex, Puberty And All That Stuff: A Guide To Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey: This book is for ages 8ish to 13ish, depending on maturity. It has drawings and such, but it covers topics like homosexual impulses and wet dreams, so it’s certainly geared towards slightly older kids.
S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna: I am a huge fan of Heather Corinna and Scarleteen, so I think S.E.X is pretty great. It’s definitely for older tweens and teens.