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It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library) Paperback – February 1, 1996

3.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a starred review, PW said, "this intelligent, amiable and carefully researched book... frankly explains the physical, psychological, emotional and social changes that occur during puberty." Emberley's watercolor and pencil art "reinforces [the] message that bodies come in all sizes, shapes and colors-and that each variation is `perfectly normal.' " Ages 10-14.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"It's Perfectly Normal is informative and interesting; reassuring and responsible; warm and charming. I wish every child (and parent) could have a copy." — Penelope Leach, Ph.D., author of YOUR BABY & CHILD

"I recommend [IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL] to parents and children who are coming into adolescence. They will love it." — T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. author of TOUCHPOINTS

"A perfectly wonderful treatment of the always touchy subject of sex education for young people. The book treats the subject seriously and its intended readers respectfully." — Hugh B. Price, president, National Urban League, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Family Library
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564021599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564021595
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
89 pages. Also published as "Let's Talk about Sex" in the UK.
This is the best sexuality education book for children I've seen (I have been looking at many). Visually, the book presents extremely well -- it's in color throughout, has enjoyable pictures (colored pencil drawings), and is not afraid of using nudity in pictures. It contains some great cartoons animating the processes of menstruation ("The Travels of the Egg"), ejaculation ("The Travels of the Sperm"), pregnancy ("The Further Adventures of the Egg and Sperm"), and birth ("What a Trip!").
The attitudes expressed are excellent, beginning with the bird and bee characters expressing different feelings about learning about sexuality -- the bird finds everything facinating and is very positive towards learning more; the bee feels more hesitant, wanting time to feel ready. The positive attitude towards nudity I've mentioned already; the attitudes towards (for example) homosexuality, non-nuclear families, race, and masturbation demonstrate an acceptance of difference, a respect for others, and a positive attitude to it all.
If you are going to get only one book about sexuality, growing up and adolescence, this is the book to buy. If you're going to get several books, this is the first book to get!
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Format: Paperback
I've read and reviewed dozens of books on children's sexuality education. "It's Perfectly Normal" rates right near the top.
The text is clear and well-presented, and is broken into easily-understood sections. It might be a bit tedious for younger (or less skillful) readers, but numerous captions and illustrations will allow even these readers to understand the most important information.
The illustrations are somewhat cartoonish, but well-drawn, and are far better than the black line drawings used by so many children's books. Perhaps the most endearing illustrations are the characters who act as "guides" throughout the pages: a bird and a bee (naturally!). These two provide a little comic relief, but, more importantly, they act as a sounding board for many of the thoughts and feelings kids are likely to have about what they're reading. One is enthusiastic and very curious, while the other is reluctant, wishing that the whole topic would just go away -- until he has a question that he wants answered!
Some sections may be of little interest to younger readers, or, more commonly, some parents may wish to restrict children's access to some of the information. As with *any* book, I recommend that parents review the book themselves first, and be sure to clarify and present their own beliefs and values if they are at odds with what the book presents. [Specifically, I'm referring to the sections on contraception, abortion, STDs, but some may object to neutral factual information about masturbation, for instance.] A book is merely a tool to be used by a parent educating a child.
A very entertaining book, and the information is as accurate and clear as any I've found.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 1:53 Mins
Parents please be aware that there is a lot of information in this book that MAY not be appropriate for your child. You need to know how mature your child is and what he/she is able to understand. There are illustrations in this book of people having sex and various stages of puberty. The illustrations are very . If you have had conversations with your child about sex and their bodies prior to purchasing this book then this book may be appropriate for your child. Otherwise I suggest that you go to Barnes and Noble and flip through this book before you purchase it online ( because I know it is cheaper online).
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book over a year ago when my daughter was nine. After a short perusal I decided it wasn't quite time to bring it out, but have kept it in the back of my mind for 'the right time'....it amazes me how quickly 'the right time' sneaks up.
This book is well organized into several sections and addresses the basics of various 'sex' topics: sex and sexuality, physiology, puberty, the 'scientific' side of reproduction, health issues, and family life. The discussion is both frank and appropriate; assuming your child has begun asking questions and/or started through puberty.
The chapter layout provides the ability to address topics one by one or as you see fit. �Sensitive� topics such as homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and STD�s are covered (distinct sections if you are not ready to address them ) along with some history and �varieties of public thought� discussion.
The illustrations are commendable - all of shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. The author integrates the various slang body terms - addressing both their humor and/or disrespectfulness as well as discussing gossip, teasing, superstitions, and all the confusing things that abound. Many of the other positives are address in earlier reviews.
My one critiscm is lack of pronunciation guides or �sounds like� references. I think it's critical to provide confidence in saying the words correctly - for both children and parents! (Though a good incentive to promote use of the dictionary.)
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