My Body by Bloomsbury Discovery and illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy, large format non-fiction boardbook with flaps, published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in 2014.
Most children love lift-the-flap books, and this one has dozens of flaps that open to reveal lots of fun facts and information about the body. A wonderfully engaging book for preschoolers and children in lower primary, My Body covers human evolution and the various body systems in a detail appropriate for this age group. The main illustrations were plentiful, detailed and clear, showing a good life-like representation of the human body. There were also lots of other illustrations on every page with more facts, and these had more of a cartoon quality about them.
The flaps were a big attraction for my preschooler, but once we started reading, she really got into the information too. She asked a lot of questions while we were reading, she came back to the book later to look through it again herself, and asked me to re-read a few sections to her. We ended up reading the whole book in one sitting as she was enjoying it so much. The information contained within this book was detailed enough that my second grader also found it useful and enlightening. I have heard my preschooler repeat several facts she learnt from My Body, especially that people shouldn’t eat snot because it contains germs!
Ears, Eyes, Nose by Rebecca Bondor, a Rookie Toddler boardbook, published by Children’s Press (Scholastic) in 2014.
This boardbook introduces young children to some of their body parts. It contains clear photographs of children pointing to their own ears, eyes, and other parts. Seeing children just like them can help toddlers and young children to engage in learning new things. And with only one large print word per photo, and a sturdy board construction, this is a great book to start learning body parts with babies and toddlers.
Amazing You! by Dr. Gail Saltz and illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath, paperback non-fiction, first published by Dutton Children’s Books in 2005, this edition published by Puffin Books in 2008.
Amazing You! is a basic look at the reproductive systems for young children. Aimed at preschoolers, this book provides information on body awareness and answers questions about ‘private parts’. It is a good first journey into what can be an awkward topic for many parents.
The text and illustrations are clear and simple, using anatomical names and easy to understand language. There is also a helpful section at the back of the book for parents on talking about sexual curiosity and where babies come from with their children. When it comes to describe how babies are made, it does not go into extensive detail, but sticks to the basics of egg and sperm, all a preschooler really needs to know. The book mentions that sexual curiosity is natural and normal, including masturbation and asking questions. It also reminds us that our bodies and our sexual organs should not be a source of embarrassment or shame, because they are all part of us, and we are amazing!
Mummy Laid an Egg! by Babette Cole, non-fiction paperback, first published by Jonathan Cape in 1993, this edition published by Red Fox in 1995.
Dad and Mum have decided to tell their kids where babies come from. They tell the kids that sometimes dinosaurs deliver babies, or they can be grown from seeds, made from gingerbread, or they can even be found under rocks! And in this case, the kids exploded from a huge egg that Mum laid on the couch. The kids think this is hilarious. They quickly begin on a journey to set their parents straight, including lots of drawings explaining just how babies are made.
A light-hearted look at reproduction, this book is perfect for younger children from preschool up. The drawings are humorous, educational, and appropriate for the intended audience. The language is easy to understand for children, and the subject matter is treated without any of the seriousness that sometimes surrounds this often delicate topic. I think this book would be especially good for parents who are a little nervous about having “the talk” with their kids, it is a great way to lighten the mood.
Both my preschooler and second grader love this book. I think that it is the best introduction to the sensitive subject of conception and reproduction that I have come across. It is honest, frank and amusing. I particularly like the pages that show how mummies and daddies fit together, some truly awkward and hilarious positions! My kids laughed at the ridiculous stories that the Mum and Dad tell their kids, as well as at many of the drawings throughout the book. It covered the basics, and my kids were happy with the content, re-reading it several times, asking questions and discussing it. A really nice book, I am very glad I purchased Mummy Laid an Egg!