Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies

Robie H. Harris, illus. by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2931-1
Harris, the guardian angel of parents facing their school-age child's questions about sex, tackles the preschool set in this first book in the Let's Talk About You and Me series. Readers follow Gus and his older sister, Nellie, on a family trip to the beach; the relaxed environment enables Westcott to riff on the central theme that "Everybody everywhere has a body!" and to show Gus and Nellie's anatomy (including key internal organs) as they change into swimsuits. Harris understands just how much her audience wants and needs to know about sex: adult bodies are out, family dogs are in ("Hey, boy puppies have a penis too," notes Gus). The text is somewhat repetitious, and the dialogue forced and chirpy as Harris delineates everything, body parts and otherwise, that makes boys and girls similar and different ("Boys and girls like to catch frogs, swing high up in the air, ride scooters, and make a lot of noise"). Nonetheless, it's a sunny, useful introduction to anatomy that kicks some gender stereotypes to the curb in the process. Ages 2–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 34 pages - 978-1-4063-3677-1
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