Top critical review
benefit depends on one's convictions
on October 30, 2015
Billy—the story says he is eight years old, but the back of the book says ten—lives with his dad, mom, older brother Tommy, and baby sister Sam. But Billy is very unhappy. Tommy, age thirteen, saw him doing something in the shower and told him that he was going to grow hair on his hands and he would go blind. Dad notices that Billy has been crying and takes him for a walk to talk with him. What had Billy been doing? And what does Dad tell him? Masturbation was a topic that simply was not discussed when I was growing up--period. Today there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of websites that talk about it openly. Personally, the only way I learned about it as a youngster was through those books about “how boys develop” or “growing up for boys” in our local library. And in our small-town library in the mid-1960s, almost all of those had been written in the 1950s or before. About all they did was say that it is self-stimulation and suggest ways to avoid or reduce it.
Author Cristian YoungMiller received his degree in Psychology from Beloit College and says, "this book has been reviewed positively by Child Care Experts," though nowhere in the book does it mention who these child care experts are that positively reviewed this little book. In the book, which the back says, “respectfully discusses what is masturbation, why it feels good, who does it, where it's appropriate, masturbation hygiene, and more,” the father’s explanation to Billy regarding masturbation is that “Everybody does it.” Perhaps that is overstating the case a little bit. Besides a few childish slang terms, there is no vulgarity. And Dad warns Billy several times, “It isn’t something that we share with others.” I also found it interesting that Dad says, “As you get older there will be people who tell you that it’s wrong to masturbate. And when that happens, you will have to listen to everything they tell you and then think about everything you know. After that, you will have to decide whether or not you should stop. That is the type of decisions that you will have to make as you get older.”
The cartoon-like characters with fruit for heads and the story format would make the book interesting to kids. So the question remains, would this book be of any benefit to Christian fathers in talking to their sons? The answer will depend on one’s convictions. For those who sincerely believe that masturbation is wrong, then no, it would not be of any use. However, for those who have concluded that the act of masturbation, in and of itself, is not sinful but may be something to assist teenage boys and young unmarried men in abstaining from fornication, it might have some value, though I would not recommend that a child read this without supervision. There is a companion book for girls.