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cover of Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole

Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole

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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What’s inside Hair in Funny Places

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:

  • growing up is dependent on the hormones – Mr and Mrs Hormone (ironically they are hairy, pimply and grumpy)
  • hormones live inside us all but are sleeping in children and eventually they wake up
  • when they wake up, they start to mix the potions (hormones) that turn kids into grownups
  • In girls, they do this
    • grow breasts
    • grow hair in funny places
    • voice deepens
    • blood in your knickers (this means that one day you could be a mum)
    • bleeding starts to happen each month and can make you feel awful
    • grow tall
    • make you like boys (you could add in that sometimes we fall in love with the same sex – ie not always the opposite sex)
    • get pimples
    • grow at different rates to your friends
    • make you feel up and down, happy and angry
  • In boys, they do this
    • boys have a different chemical mix
    • shoulders broaden and penis thickened
    • grow hair in funny places
    • voice changes – deep one minute and squeaky the next
    • become interested in girls (or you can add in ‘boys too’)
    • penis grows bigger and smaller and sticky stuff comes out – which means you could become a dad
    • become spotty and smelly
  • talks about how hormones are responsible for attraction – and make us feel attracted to someone, fall in love and one day have kids

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.


What ages?

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!

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon and  Book Depository and Booktopia.

Video review


More great books on puberty

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.


In summary

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!)

About the Author Cath Hakanson

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.

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