Book Review: A popular sex education book for kids that talks about almost everything!
A short overview of this book
It’s so Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie H. Harris is a sex education book for kids aged seven to ten years of age. Now, this is what I would call an encyclopedia or a ‘sexopedia’. It has everything that kids at this age would possibly be interested in or want to know about.
An overview of the book
This book was first published in 1999, and was last revised in 2014. The book is quite up to date, except that it doesn’t reflect the many different ways that babies today can be born (surrogacy, sperm donation, egg donation and adoption). It also doesn’t discuss gender in great detail. For example, we now know that our gender doesn’t always match our genitals. For example, you might have a vulva and everyone calls you a girl, but on the inside you might feel like a boy. So it doesn’t include any of that terminology and jargon just yet.
The content is very similar to the earlier book, It’s Not The Stork: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Families And Friends, which is for the 4-7 year old age group. There is also another book for the tweens, It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health.
So what’s inside this book? There’s a lot! So at the start, we’ve got a nice big index which clearly breaks the book up into lots of very small chapters. This means that you can tackle a chapter a night. This isn’t the sort of book that you would sit and read the whole book aloud to your child – it is just too long! The book is filled with comics and many illustrations that break the text up into an ‘easy to digest’ format!
It’s so Amazing starts off by explaining that adults can get embarrassed by talking about sex, and that sometimes you might hear some pretty crazy explanations about how babies are made. It then talks about the fact that all animals and plants reproduce, along with humans, explaining that humans need an egg and a sperm to make a baby.
It then talks about how we are the same but also different, with the difference being our reproductive organs. It then talks about the fact that we all grow up, and that puberty will one day happen. It then talks about the reproductive organs, with illustrations and information about the outside parts (genitals) and the internal organs.
It’s so Amazing then talks about the changes that happen inside once puberty arrives ie eggs, periods, and hormones. And for male bodies, it talks about sperm, hormones, erections and ejaculation. As kids get older, they start to become more curious about what actually happens on the inside of their bodies
Sex is then talked about in an age-appropriate way, in regards to being male or female but also as in something that adults do ie sexual intercourse. Now, at this age, it just talks about the sex that is used for baby-making – that’s all that kids are really all that interested in. We talk about the other types of sex and the other things that we do sexually as they get a little older and as they’re ready to understand it.
Next, we get onto the different types of love. It does talk about same-sex attraction as well, ie males falling in love with males. Then it talks about conception ie how the egg and sperm meet ie sexual intercourse and also IVF.. Then pregnancy (how the baby develops ) and birth is discussed. It talks about the different types of births, ie vaginal and caesarian.
It’s so Amazing then talks about the different things that make you up as a person. So in regards to chromosomes and genes, and why do you have red hair but mum has black hair. And it talks about different families, and the fact that not all families are like yours, all families can be different.
Then it talks about keeping safe, about good touch, bad touch, what’s okay and not okay. The jargon for touch keeps changing, it’s like private and public, all those words change. And then it does start talking about HIV/AIDS. For some strange reason, sexually transmitted infections aren’t talked about. I’m not sure why. My attitude is that if you are going to talk about one, then you should talk about the other.
It’s so Amazing is not the sort of book you’d want to read in one sitting. If your child is a good reader, it’s the sort of book that they could actually take off and read by themselves. But you just want to make sure that you’re still having conversations about what they are reading and making sure that they know that they can come to you with their questions.
It’s so Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robie H. Harris is a great little book if you just want to have the one book. The downside though, is that there is going to be a lot of information in it that your child won’t be ready for. This isn’t that big a problem though, as you can pick and choose the chapters that are relevant.
What’s the ideal age for this book?
It’s so Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families is ideal for children between the ages of 7 – 10 years of age.
Have a look through the book