From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-With girls reaching puberty at younger and younger ages, Ready, Set, Grow! is a timely and important book. In a consistently sensitive and encouraging tone, Madaras reassures preadolescents that the changes they know are approaching or they are beginning to experience are normal, natural, and cause for celebration. Humorous sketches illustrate the emotions and stages of puberty, and keep the tone light. Individual chapters devoted to breast development, body hair, height and weight spurts, body odor and pimples, genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and menstruation gently but thoroughly provide facts and advice on recognizing and welcoming growth and development. The author weaves in a little humor and acknowledges the conflicting emotions that accompany puberty. Quotes and questions from girls she meets in her travels and correspondence are included, giving voice to the uncertainties in a reader's own mind. "What's Up Down There? A Look at Your Private Parts" is a particularly on-target chapter, taking readers on a tour of their own genitalia with the help of a mirror, identifying each part of their sex organs. Madaras's earlier "What's Happening" books, written for older readers, include discussions of romantic feelings and dealing with unwanted sexual attention. Laurie Krasny Brown's What's the Big Secret? Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys (Little, Brown, 1997) takes a humorous approach to explaining intercourse as well as puberty to boys and girls.Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. In her revised edition of The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls
(2001), Madaras notes that girls are reaching puberty at a younger age than in the past. In this small, square volume, Madaras offers a spin-off guide directed to the youngest girls who are anticipating or undergoing the body's first changes. Goofy cartoons illustrate the upbeat, reassuring chapters about menstruation, breast development, and the reproductive organs as well as grooming issues, such as skin care, body odor, and shaving. There are medical tips just for the girls in this age group, who, for example, need to treat cramps differently from older young women or adults. The short chapter about sexual harassment is somewhat vague, but it offers solid advice in firm language: "Don't accept excuses like 'Boys will be boys.'" Parents and kids seeking information about sex and birth control will need to consult another guide, but this one is a friendly, accessible introduction to puberty that young girls can read alone, not just with parents. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved