cover of Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole

Hair in Funny Places by Babette Cole

Book Review:  A book about puberty that you can use from a young age!

Book Review

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 this is a great first book to use that talks about puberty.

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.

Ideal age

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!

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!)

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

Buy a copy

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

You can find more books like this in my extensive list of Sex Education Books for Children.

Video book review


My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.

Which means that inside this website, you'll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics.

My Puberty 101 page includes all of the information on puberty. You'll find lots of different blogposts to help with talking to your child about growing up.

You'll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There's even some books in there for parents! 

If you're looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, How to Talk to Kids About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural converasations with your child about their body. 

You'll also find some child friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let's Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

If you're worried that talking to your child about bodies might lead to questions about sex, then you can relax. How to Talk to Kids About Sex, will help you to explain sexual intercourse to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that  take the stress out of explaining!

If you want a printed book to hold in your hands, then the  The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid's ask parents about sex. Which means you don't need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands. 

If you want the answers to questions about a lot more than just sex, then Sex Ed Quickies is your best option. It has answers to 300+ questions  that kids commonly ask parents,  including how babies are made, sexual intercourse, body parts, puberty, relationships, pregnancy, birth, masturbation, sexual diversity, gender, pornography, STIs, contraception and much more.

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 empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. To find a better way to talk about sex, you can join my community of parents and visit my shop for helpful resources.

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