Title: Tell me About Sex, Grandma
Author & Illustrator: Anastasia Higginbotham
Publisher: The feminist Press at Cuny, 2017
Themes: sex, growing up, natural curiosity, feelings, the spectrum, safety, sex ed for all ages, choice
Sex is everywhere.
A book about a conversation between a young child (gender never specified) and their grandma about sex. The conversation is open and trusting and above all respectful of the child’s curiosity. It isn’t a book about the mechanics of having sex so much as the feelings, the choices, the rights and the wonder of sex; its power and its privacy.
Why I like this book:
Wow, just wow. I have never seen a book quite like this on the topic of sex for young children. It’s honesty and integrity blows me away. Grandma acknowledges the child’s natural curiosity and right to ask questions. She validates her grandchild’s curiosity and emerging sexuality (yes, I agree, some feelings start young).
Grandma waits until her grandchild is ready for the conversation. The child readies themselves by making a rainbow paper airoplane!
“Sex is an energy, an action, a conversation, a revelation.*”
*Sudden burst of understanding or discovery
It’s about how you feel and who you like. Grandma lays down only two rules: Sex is only when both people say yes and it is NEVER with kids. Otherwise, it is only your business. In child-friendly language, Grandma discusses how we feel when something is a NO or YES moment, even when you can’t quite put these feelings into words.
These deep discussion are interspersed with conversations about dolphins and growing up.
Choice and respect, and a complete embracing of diversity: these are values I can fly with. While I can see that some adults will not feel comfortable with this approach, I urge you to read the book for yourself and see if you wouldn’t be thrilled to share this with curious kids in your life? I know I will.
The artwork is the most fabulous set of collages. This book is breathtaking. I am going to buy it for my middle school library!
I truly don’t want to add any other resources as this is such a unique stand-alone approach that I am confident great conversations will flow if the adult reading with the child(ren) shares the same values as the author.
I will leave you with the author’s final words:
Be safe. Be you. Be loved.
Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.