Written by Robie Harris • Illustrated by Michael Emberley • September 2009 • Candlewick Press • Non-fiction • Ages 10 and up
“A book about sex that manages to be honest without losing its sense of humor.” – The New York Times Book Review
Story: The Birds and the Bees: There comes a day in every parent’s life when you and your child must have “the talk.” You know the one; it goes something along the lines of, “Well… we do need to…talk about…I need to talk to you… about…sex…
But before you launch into the business of the birds and bees, make sure you have It’s Perfectly Normal by your side – you know, for those moments when you’re at a loss for words.
Considered the definitive book on kids’ sexual health, It’s Perfectly Normal provides accurate, unbiased answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and HIV/AIDS. This 15th anniversary edition has been completely updated for the 21st century, including new information on the HPV vaccine and a brand new chapter about staying healthy and safe on the Internet. Says Robie, “When my editor and I discussed that It’s Perfectly Normal would soon be fifteen years old and the way to celebrate would be to publish a 15th anniversary edition, I realized that there was one topic that was not in the book—the Internet. While I knew a lot about the Internet, I didn’t know enough to write a responsible new chapter. So yet again, I went back to many of the experts I had gone to in the past—parents, younger teens, teachers, school principals, librarians, health professionals, clergy, and some new experts, including Internet experts. Once again, I learned a lot, especially from the kids I interviewed. The title of this new chapter is: HELPFUL, FUN, CREEPY, DANGEROUS—Getting Information and Staying Safe On The Internet.”
Click here for tips on how to use all three books in Harris’ and Emberley’s FAMILY LIBRARY: It’s Perfectly Normal, as well as It’s So Amazing! and It’s NOT the Stork! with your children and teens.
The Story Behind the Birds and the Bees: Some giggle, some gasp, but most are charmed and fascinated when they open up the book – that’s perfectly normal.
Sex is a complicated subject, not easy talk or write about or illustrate in an age-appropriate and comfortable manner for kids, teens, and their families. But since its publication in 1994, over one and one-half million copies of It’s Perfectly Normal have been sold, testifying to the fact that so many families, schools, libraries, and health organizations in this country and around the world have found this book helpful in providing the information our pre-teens and teens need to have to stay healthy. And yet, It’s Perfectly Normal has been no stranger to controversy, due to the efforts of some groups and some individuals who feel that our kids and teens should not have access to the information that is provided in It’s Perfectly Normal. That’s why, despite its numerous awards, this book has landed on ALA’s top ten banned book list. While no book is a perfect fit for every child or family, both Robie and Michael strongly believe that those kids and families who choose to read their book have the right to do so—so that they may have access to the most up-to-date and accurate science facts about reproduction, puberty, and sexual health.
Says Robie, “One of my core values when it comes to talking to kids and teens – and talking is what I do in my books – is to be honest. For if we are not honest or leave out information our kids and teens have a right to have, then what we say or what we write about in a book will have no credibility.