For preteen girls, here is a lively, entertaining invitation to the wonders and perils of puberty.
Adopting the stance of a big sister and assuring readers, “You are meant to be just the way you are,” the author of two previous books for teens (Boyology, 2009, etc.) gently leads her younger sisters through both inside and outside changes. Stressing the variety in growth schedules, she covers the usual changes—breasts, body hair, pimples, menstruation, and emotional ups and downs—but steers clear of sexual feelings and sex talk. Conversational text and cheery illustrations provide explicit instructions for tooth-brushing, leg and underarm shaving, the use of deodorant and the insertion of a tampon. Occasional features called “Girl Talk” offer personal advice about problems from sweat stains, bed wetting and chlorine-greened hair to being an early bird or late bloomer. Along the way, Burningham provides recommendations from experts for fitting a bra, taking care of teeth with braces, eating healthily, using makeup and skincare. A chapter on healthy habits includes an explanation of eating disorders. The author encourages talking with parents and other adults and stresses wearing a smile. Cartoon-style illustrations in color add to the light tone.
This relaxed guide, full of useful information and sound advice, would be good company throughout the journey. (acknowledgements, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)