cover of Its not the stork by Robie H. Harris

It’s Not The Stork by Robie H. Harris

Book Review:  A popular sex education book that covers almost everything.

Book Review

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends by Robie H. Harris, has everything that 4-7 year olds are curious about, when it comes to sexuality.

This book is written by Robie H. Harris. This book has been around for a long time. This one, I think, is the second edition and she tends to update it every 10 to 15 years.

The author has also written two other books for older children. It’s so Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families which has been written for 7-10 year olds. It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health which has been written for tweens ie 10+.

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It is a fantastic book but  it has yet to be updated for the most recent changes in sex education, like the increased awareness and knowledge that we now have in regards to gender.  A lot of these books say that all boys have penises and we now know that is not a fact. Most boys have penises but not all. Just as most girls have a vulva but not all.

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends  does not talk about gender. By gender, I mean the fact that I have a vulva and I look like a girl but on the inside I may feel male. So it is not addressing this stuff yet. But then again, I am unaware of any general sex education books for younger children, that do address this.  These changes take time to happen  and for societal attitudes to change.

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends is a thick book with about 60 pages. It is one of those books that is great if you want a book that covers everything in one book. It is not the type of book that you sit down and read in one session, unless you want there and sit and read for 3 hours straight. I don’t have the patience for that and nor do my kids.

So it covers a lot of topics in regards to where babies come from. The book is divided into many different sections. It has lots of pictures and words but it also uses comic strips. Personally, I find comics hard to read aloud to my kids. I am more used to classical books where you have text with a picture.

By the age of 4, kids have become very aware that boys and girls have some physical differences. So the book talks about the things that we have in common and the things we do not have in common. It talks about what the body is like from head to toe, pointing out the private parts as well.

It talks about the fact that boys have a penis and a picture of how it looks on the outside as well as the inside. It also talks about the girls parts and about the fact that all kids will grow up and eventually be old. It then talks about eggs and sperm that are inside us and that it is needed to make a baby.

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends does talk about sexual intercourse. So a 4 year old usually isn't interested in sex whereas a 7 year old will be more curious. That is a problem with these books that cover a range of topics and ages, as  you have to pick and choose what you are saying. If your kids are younger, you can just look at that page and say 'It takes a mum and a dad to make a baby'. You don't have to say any more. If they have any questions, make sure you do give them an answer. Then they talk more about the sperm going into the egg, which a 4 year old is not going to be interested. Whereas a 6 or 7 year old will be. Then it talks about pregnancy with images of the actual size of the baby as it develops. It talks a bit on how it looks like in the inside for the baby,  how the baby eats and drinks and breathes. Kids are usually interested in that sort of stuff.

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends talks about conception, and the fact that sometimes you can have 2, 3 or even 4 babies. But this book is not up to date in regards to egg and sperm donation. So if you have a child that is conceived in the non traditional 'penis in vagina' sexual intercourse,  then you are going to have to add your own content by talking about the other ways that babies can be made.

The book talks about the things that babies like and do. It also talks about the fact that there are lots of different types of families and not all families are the traditional mum and dad. Sometimes you might have 2 mums or 2 dads, or grandma is living with you or may even have friends living with you. It talks about good touch and bad touch, the fact that boys and girls can be friends and you don’t have to have boyfriends if you don’t want to.

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends talks about growing up and the fact that it will happen. It is a great book that includes a lot of content. It includes all the stuff that that kids are curious about and that the sex education curriculum advocates. It has the stuff that kids are interested in. It is the sort of book that you would only want to read a small bit at a time. You could work your way through the book with your child, answering their questions as they arise.

This book is perfect IF you want an 'all in one' book. If you are feeling uncomfortable with talking to your kids about sex, I would suggest that you look at books that discuss the one topic at a time.

Ideal ages

It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends  is ideal for children between the ages of 4 - 7 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of It's Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends by Robie H. Harris from Amazon or  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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