Many books are available that help teach
children about sexuality. Some books for young children explain how babies
are born. Other books describe puberty and the changes that preteens and
teens go through.
addition to books for children, there are books about sexuality that are
written for parents. Some of those books may be appropriate for you. Also,
you may want to keep some of the books for children in your childcare
setting for children to use. (Before doing this, you probably should discuss
the books with the parents of children in your care.)
There are several things that parents and childcare providers should keep
in mind when searching for educational books about sexuality for their
children and for themselves.
Don’t wait until the child asks about sexuality to look at books.
Get books early so that you are prepared for questions
as they come up.
• Make sure books agree with the family’s
• Be sure books use correct words
for body parts and show both males and females.
• Ask yourself “Will this book
be interesting to the child? Will it make sense to him/her?”
• Look for a book you can read with
• Is the book specific to boys or
girls? Remember that it is important for a child to understand his or
her own sexual
growth as well as that of the opposite
• Do not depend on the book to provide
all the necessary sex education for your child. The child needs to talk
The following books are accurate and appropriate for children and parents
at different stages. Keep in mind that these are only a few out of many
that are available. It is important for providers and parents to choose
books that fit the family’s values.
From diapers to dating; A parent’s
guide to raising sexually healthy children
By Debra Haffner,
gives clear, direct descriptions about age-appropriate behavior and knowledge
for children ages 0-12.
to talk to your kids about really important things: For children four
Schaefer, and Theresa DiGeronimo
is intended to help parents organize their thoughts about how to talk
with their children about tough issues.
divorce, violence, drug abuse, AIDS, homosexuality, prejudice, puberty,
sex, and death. Charles
Schaefer is also
the author of How to Talk to Children about Really Important Things,
and How to Talk to
Teens about Really
Important Things: Specific Questions and Answers and Useful Things to
and sensibility; The thinking parent’s guide to talking sense about
is written by a sex educator. It provides a down-to-earth, realistic view
of sexuality issues. Topics
age appropriate behaviors, values, cultural norms and differences,
sexual orientation. The author
stresses the importance
of empowering children with knowledge.
Heather has two mommies
As the title
suggests, this book discusses issues of homosexuality. The young girl
in the story, Heather, wonders
about how her family
is different when she goes to school where she hears other children talk
about having fathers.
The book ultimately
talks about a variety of family forms, including gay fathers, one-parent
families, and stepfamilies.
How you were born
discusses pregnancy and childbirth at an appropriate level for young children.
Sex and conception are not
mentioned, so you
may want to be prepared to discuss these concepts outside the context
of this book. It may be
best to use this
book in addition to a book that discusses body parts and sexuality.
By Wendy Cheyette
is appropriate for children who are going to have a baby sister or brother
in their family soon. There is a
pregnancy, how much fun the baby can be, how to help, and other feelings
that might result from the
new family member.
What’s the big secret?
Krasny Brown, Ed.D. and Marc Brown
of this book is to help children feel that sex is a subject that they
can feel comfortable asking about. The
authors are honest
and open in their approach. The book discusses the differences between
boys and girls. Also,
explanations show the sexual organs. Sexual intercourse and pregnancy
are also touched upon,
although not in
did I come from?
By Peter Mayle
is descriptive and helps children learn about sexual organs, sex (gently
described), pregnancy and birth.
are clear and realistic, and appropriate for young children.
Pre-teens and Teenagers:
Changing bodies, changing lives
By Ruth Bell
approach in this book is realistic and straightforward. The in-depth descriptions
cover various sexuality
issues and other
tough issues important to teenagers, including sex, violence, eating
physical development, STDs, pregnancy, contraception, drugs and health
care. This author also
the books Our Bodies, Ourselves and Ourselves and Our Children.
teen body book: A guide to your changing body
By Judie Lewellen
discusses topics of concern to teenagers. There are illustrations to make
the descriptions more
Issues covered have to do with puberty, body changes, sex, STDs, contraception,
eating habits, and
happening to me?
By Peter Mayle
is good for preteens and gives a straightforward description of why puberty
happens, physical body
masturbation, and other topics in sexuality. The tone helps keep the topic
comfortable and easy-
happening to my body? book for girls: A growing up guide for parents and
What’s happening to my body? book
for boys: A growing up guide for parents and sons
By Lynda Madaras,
and Area Madaras
are specifically formatted for each gender. They cover sexual issues that
preteens may be embarrassed
to ask about, but
in a way that can ease their discomfort. The authors are very thorough,
and some teens may
to a book that is written for specifically for their gender. Parents may
benefit from reading through
these books before
their child does, or they could read it with their child.
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