cover of The Care and Keeping of You 1 (American Girl) by Cara Natterson

The Care and Keeping of You 1 (American Girl) by Cara Natterson

Book Review:  A book for young girls about puberty and growing up.

Book Review

The Care and Keeping of You 1 by Cara Natterson is an American Girl book that tells younger girls about the changes that will soon be happening to their body i.e. it is for girls who have yet to start puberty.

This book tells younger girls about the changes that will soon be happening and how they need to care for their changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, bad breath to bras, periods to pimples, and everything in between.

Sexual intercourse is NOT talked about in this book.

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Ideal ages

The Care and Keeping of You 1 (American Girl) by Cara Natterson is ideal for children between the ages of 8 - 10 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of The Care and Keeping of You 1 (American Girl) by Cara Natterson 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

Read the video transcription

Hi, I'm Cath Hak from Sex Ed Rescue. Today we are talking about some of the first American Girl books. So we’re looking at The Care & Keeping of You by Cara Natterson today! The book I have is hardback cover from the library. My edition came out in 1998, though a more recent version has come out.

Now, The Care and Keeping of You is a book about the change’s girls go through during puberty.

At the start, the book talks about your body parts as a separate section each- your head, arms, and stuff like that. When I flip through it, I can see how to wash your hands, how to shave under your armpits, and growing into bras.

Now, we get to the more nitty-gritty stuff; pubic hair and genitals which the book covers briefly. There’s good information about pubic hair, periods, and what it is like getting them. This book does talk about everything. Looks, change, puberty, and mostly how to care for yourself.

Personally, I wouldn’t call it a puberty book since it talks more about caring for yourself. General information on puberty and what girls experience is briefed over, but most of the information is about hygiene and looks. The Care and Keeping of You is not exclusively about puberty, so if you are after that, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Finally, this book is also diverse. Just from the front cover, you can see not all of the girls are white-skinned, blue-eyed blondies. A lot of what we read can be very racially specific.
Now I’ll let you make your own decision based on whether you want to buy it. I don’t think this is one of my favorites, but I do have quite a lot of books. This book is very safe and presentable for younger kids, with lots of good information.

I hope this helps your decision, cheers. 


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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