AIDS, You Can't Catch It Holding Hands

Niki De Saint Phalle, Author Lapis Press $6.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-932499-52-3
Most people will agree that addressing the issue of AIDS with kids is inescapable, and, assuming that political uproar can be avoided by treating the disease solely as a human tragedy, how should it be done? This book takes a straight-talk strategy, with references to ""vaginal fluids,'' ``intestinal secretions,'' ``making love'' (oral, anal and vaginal sex), rubbers and phrases like ``no sex parties,'' ``but you can touch all over'' and, for drug users, the advice ``never share a needle.'' The amount of informationon sex and drugstaken for granted here, before readers are informed about AIDS, is astonishing. However, to dispel some fears, there are some invaluable facts for kids on how ``you can't catch it'' from a pet, an insect or a flower, or from food utensils, money, toilet seats, books or doorknobs. De Saint Phalle's colorful display of the facts, in a picture book format, gives readers badly needed relief from a morbid encounter with such a destructive force. But the art is quite sophisticated and explicit for readers of the picture-book age. This book may infuriate some and depress others. It unintentionally proves just how difficult it is to educate kids about AIDS without thrusting them, prematurely, into the hardcore realities of the adult world. Ages 10-up. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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