What is a Girl? What is a Boy?
Waxman's simple text and black-and-white photographs have two aims: to refute sexist stereotypes--e.g., the notion that boys don't cry--and to introduce physical differences between the sexes. Her success in both endeavors is mixed. When rebutting what she takes to be common sexist attitudes, the author seems to be stretching to make the point (``Some people say a boy is someone wearing pants'' and ``Some people say a girl is someone with a girl's name''). Her approach to biological differences is frank and direct, and readers may find the book a useful catalyst for discussion; the rather workaday photographs, which show frontal views of nude children and mature adults, will leave viewers with few anatomical misconceptions. But in its starkness, the book becomes antiseptic. For example, the photos will not help to instill appreciation and wonder for the beauty of the human form--surely among the most valuable of lessons for a healthy and happy understanding of sexuality. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-690-04711-0
Hardcover - 38 pages - 978-0-88961-039-2
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