Yet another edition of We Recommend, in which we attempt to match kids up with their perfect book (and we're STILL not caught up. But we will be!) Got a kid in your life who needs a recommendation? Write us at thediamondinthewindow (at) gmail (dot) com with the age, reading tastes, favorite books, and any other relevant (or irrelevant) information, and we'll give it a shot. And really? All the good suggestions are in the comments, so be sure to look there!
We all have to deal with them. You know, the questions. You think you're going to be all cool and say something like "When two people love each other…." But that's because you don't know you're going to be hit with "Can people and cats have babies together?" And all those inevitable "But that means you and Daddy…" followed by unfeigned looks of utter horror. That's right, it's human sexuality day here at The Diamond in the Window, and all I can say is: well at least there are a whole lot of good books about it.
But first, let's deal with the question in question (can I say that?):
My daughter is 8, in 3rd grade. She's started to ask a few questions about her body. I find that despite my strong feeling that she should feel free to ask whatever she wants, I get a little tongue-tied when she asks, well, just about anything. I apparently lack the vocabulary to deal with the developing body. So I'm looking for book recommendations for sort of introductory "about your body" type books, good for a 3rd grader. Not so much about sexuality, although that will come. But right now we're just looking for something very basic that she can read either by herself or with me.
OK, I've actually looked through a lot of different body books, partly because this is happening so much earlier among kids of this generation than mine own. It's hellish to deal with your changing body in 7th grade (at least it was for me), it's downright disconcerting when you're in 3rd grade. My favorite of the ones I found? The Period Book.
What I liked about it: they talk a lot about the fact that just because your body might be changing doesn't mean you have to stop being a kid. And if that's important for a 12-year-old to hear, it's doubly important for an 8-year-old. Plus it has information I didn't know (your feet are the first part of you to reach adult size—who knew?). Plus it's just kind and helpful, without being gooshy. It focuses on your body, what goes on with it. I do worry a little about whether it's too mature for this reader, but the 8-year-olds I know who have read it have been pretty happy and comfortable with it.
That said, this doesn't do much for the boys out there (not that this question asks for those, but it sort of begs the question). So put any suggestions on either in the commets. Also? When asked about whether cats and people can have babies together, just say "No, people and cats can't make kittens," and leave it at that. Trust me on this.