Hair in Funny Places, by Babette Cole, is an explanation of puberty written with humour!
I love it as it introduces the concept of the physical and emotional changes of puberty in such a way, that your child will be wishing that puberty would arrive sooner! It takes the ‘scaryness’ out of puberty!
I think that Hair in Funny Places is a great first book to use that talks about puberty.
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Hair in Funny Places covers the basics of what your child needs to know about puberty. It tells the story of a girl who asks her teddy ‘when will I grow up to be a ‘grown-up’?
Here is how her teddy explains puberty:
As you can see, it pretty much covers everything that a kid can expect, but simplifies it very nicely! It covers the physical changes very matter of factly as well as the emotional changes.
Hair in Funny Places is ideal for younger children, anywhere between the ages of 6 – 8. I think it works really well with children who are not at the cusp of puberty. Plus, being a picture book format, means that it is really more suited for younger children who want to have a book read to them or with a parent.
And why would you want to talk to younger kids about puberty so early? Firstly, it normalises puberty ie it makes it seem that it is an everyday thing that all of us go through (which it is). And it won’t harm or scare kids to know about this stage of their life. Wrapping it up into a storybook makes it sound more fun and interesting! My daughter used to love this book. It was a favourite for a while and she would say that she was looking forward to puberty and could wait for it to happen.
Secondly, it prewarns kids that one day their body will start changing. This helps with removing some of the fear that many children fear about this stage of change. Fear of the unknown is what can make puberty a tougher time for kids. Think back to your own memories of puberty, were you prewarned or did you just discover hair in funny places one day?
Thirdly, it helps you to plant the seed that puberty isn’t all doom and gloom. Puberty is portrayed very negatively in our media and in our everyday conversation. I recently did a search on images to depict puberty and they were all sad, depressed, pimply, unhappy teenagers! Let’snot set our kids up for a negative experience!
You can find more great sex education books like Hair in Funny Places and on puberty (and sex education) in my new parent resources – Sex Education Books for Children: The Parent Guide.
There are a lot of other really good puberty books out there.
Most of them though, are written for kids that are about to start changing. And all of them are factual books ie none of them wrap puberty up into a story, like Hair in Funny Places does.
Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole, is a great first book for kids on puberty. I love it as it introduces the concept of the physical and emotional changes of puberty in such a way, that your child will be wishing that puberty would arrive sooner!
It actually takes the ‘scaryness’ out of puberty! (Which is a good thing!)
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.