For Talking the Birds & the Bees with Your Kid


For Talking the Birds & the Bees with Your Kid

In our most recent episode, LST listener Amanda talks about the many conversations she’s had with her 8-year-old son about sex. Amanda’s a librarian, and she wrote her master’s thesis on sex in YA lit, so we asked her to help us put together a reading list for both parents and kids, to help make the dreaded talk a little smoother. Here are her favorites.

Here are some great age-appropriate books (most with illustrations!) to give your kids when they start asking you questions. Or even before they start asking.

Ages 4-8. It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends by Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly

Ages 7-9. It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly (This is the book Amanda gave her son when he first started asking about sex and childbirth at the age of 7. That’s him reading it in the image above.)

Ages 9-12. Asking about Sex and Growing Up: A Question-and-Answer Book for Kids by Joanna Cole; illustrated by Bill Thomas

Ages 10-14. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health Robie Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberly

Ages 12 and up. Sex, Puberty, and All That Stuff: A Guide to Growing Up by Jacqui Bailey; illustrated by Jan McCafferty

Ages 14 and up. 100 Questions You’d Never Ask Your Parents: Straight Answers to Teens’ Questions About Sex, Sexuality, and Health by Elisabeth Henderson and Nancy Armstrong

If you want to arm yourself with some answers for those inevitable questions—or just have a better understanding of what’s going on with your child’s sexual development at every age—check out these books:

Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster

Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense About Sex by Deborah Roffman

From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children – From Infancy to Middle School by Debra W. Haffner

Also check out our favorite online sex ed resources for kids and parents!

What are YOUR favorite books for talking to your kids about sex?
Add ’em to our list. In the comments.

6 thoughts on “Books: For Talking the Birds & the Bees with Your Kid

  1. I agree, I’ve used “Its so amazing” and “Its perfectly normal” with my kids. They are great books very informative and age appropriate.

  2. Yay LST librarians! :) I love this list. I would only add “Who Has What,” also by the terrific Robie Harris – it’s more of a picture book format than “It’s Not the Stork” and is a little more accessible for preschoolers, I’ve found. It has a great body positive message in general, and like INTS, emphasizes that boys and girls can do any activity they like (play with dolls, dance, get dirty outside).

  3. As a kid I loved “Mommy Laid an Egg” from Babette Cole. We had at kindergarden if I remember right, or anyways not at my home, but it had a big impact on me. I don’t remember having a “birds and the bees” conversation with my parents, I guess i must have been quite young. They were always quite open about their sexuality. But that book is full of humor and informative, too!
    I want to get it for my kids (one almost 3 y.o. and the othe one 3 weeks old!)

    I really enjoy your podcast!
    Cheers from Germany!

  4. My husband is a doctor and has always insisted on proper names for everything, etc. During my pregnancies we never said there was a baby in my tummy. I did not eat a baby! The baby was growing in the uterus, which is a special place for babies to grow. As our girls (4 of them) grew older the explanation of how the baby got in the uterus was just a natural progression. I really encourage new parents to take this route!

  5. I highly recommend The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall. Gorgeous whimsical illustrations and a sweet engaging story about a young boy trying to sort through all the euphemisms that usually surround the topic. Read it to my 3-yr-old while we were pregnant with her sister. Here’s an article & book trailer.

  6. I am looking for a good book that illustrates and explains menstrual cycles appropriate for toddlers. My 21 month old is fearful every month that I am hurt. He worries about the blood. He may get used to it. I’ve only had 3 periods since he was born. Of course I try to explain… but good books sometimes make connections so much clearer. Any suggestions?

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