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AMAZING YOU! by Dr. Gail Saltz


Getting Smart About Your Private Parts

by Dr. Gail Saltz & illustrated by Lynne Cravath

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47389-0
Publisher: Dutton

Brightened by sunny, simply drawn cartoons featuring people of several ages and skin shades, this introduction to the reproductive organs is designed as much to allay parental anxiety as to provide answers to younger children’s questions. Saltz, a practicing psychiatrist, describes the male and female set-ups in a light, relaxed tone, suggesting that it’s better to use specific terms rather than euphemisms for visible organs, and tracking physical changes from infancy to adulthood. She steers clear of topics deemed beyond her child audience’s understanding, such as sexual intercourse, or stages of fetal development, and backs up vague allusions to masturbation and privacy boundaries with a closing note in much smaller type. Though urethras are repeatedly mentioned but never illustrated, there are no lists of further information sources, and a description of sperm as looking “sort of like tadpoles” may leave some misapprehensions about their size, this makes an adequate discussion starter for parents with children not yet up to the level of detail in Robie H. Harris’s It’s So Amazing! (1999). (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-7)