cover of What's the big secret by Laurie Krasny Brown

What’s the big secret? by Laurie Krasny Brown

Book Review:  A  simple sex education book that covers a lot of different topics.

Book Review

What's the Big Secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, is one of those 'cover everything' books, in regards to bodies, how babies are made, pregnancy and more. And it is kept nice and simple ie there is not too much information!

This book was written by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown. This is a great book that was published in 1997, so nearly 20 years ago. But it is a great little book that hasn't dated at all. It covers the basics  of what kids need to know about growing up, bodies and how babies are made.

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What's the Big Secret is like most other sex education books, when it comes to talking to school aged kids about sex. So, it starts off with how boys and girls are the same but they are also different. When it comes to things like clothes and hair, it means that sometimes we can all look the same. But there is a way to tell us apart - our genitals are different (vulva/penis/etc). I love the way the authors display the discomfort and giggling that can happen, when we talk about genitals.

The book also talks about how boys stand up to urinate and girls sit down (kids actually find this fact very interesting). Then it talks about the different names of the body parts and that we should use the correct names and not silly names. It also acknowledges that it is okay to be interested in your body and to have a look at it and to be curious about other parts but to remember to do this in private. What's the Big Secret?  also talks about masturbation ie you can touch your genitals and it feels nice, but you have to do that in private. It also talks about the fact that our bodies can feel nice when they are touched. They follow this up with some rules about touching. It talks about it being okay to be hugged and touched if you want to.

What's the Big Secret? then starts to talk about how babies are made, reminding us that all animals reproduce. So what does it take to make a human baby? Basically, it says the sperm and egg meet during sexual intercourse ie when a man puts his penis into the woman's vagina. So it is kept nice and simple ie we don’t have descriptions of couples on top of each other having sex.

Then it talks about the baby growing on the inside of the mother, how the mother is waiting for the baby to come, and then the babies birth. It talks about the vaginal birth  and not a caesarean birth.

All in all though, What's the Big Secret? is a good little book, and talks about the things that kids are curious about.  It is a little old fashioned though, in regards to the fact that it doesn't talk about the alternative ways that babies are made (IVF, surrogacy), and gender (transgender).  But, considering that it was written nearly 2o years ago, that is to be expected.

What's the Big Secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys  by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown, covers a range of different topics but has a nice and simple age-appropriate  description of how to start a baby. It would be a good book to start with if you want a book that covers more than one topic and doesn't provide too much information.

Ideal ages

What's the Big Secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys is ideal for children between the ages of 6 - 10 years of age.

Buy a copy

You can buy a copy of What's the Big Secret? Talking about sex with girls and boys by Laurie Krasny Brown  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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