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Resource List: Picture Books on Sexuality for Early Elementary Students

based on my 1997 web site "Teaching Your Kids About Sex,"

Mommy Laid An Egg! or Where Do Babies Come From? by Babette Cole

Published by Chronicle Books, 1996 - ISBN: 0811813193

Writer and illustrator Babette Cole won the LA Parent Magazine Book Award for this decidedly non-sentimental look at where babies come from. The book begins with the parents telling their kids all the fanciful myths about babies' origins - "You can make them out of gingerbread," "Sometimes you just find them under rocks." Then the children, amused at their parents' lack of knowledge, proceed to explain just where babies do come from, complete with child-like illustrations. A wonderful book, with just enough information for small children.

Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle, Arthur Robins (Illustrator)

Published by Little Brown & Co, 1984 - ISBN: 0316042277

I had this book when I was a child, and it hasn't changed a bit. The author explains the "facts of life" in a very matter-of-fact, humorous way, with illustrations that look like anybody's (white) mom and dad. The book addresses the names of body parts, the process of intercourse, pregnancy, and birth. Kids will understand the description of orgasm in terms of a big sneeze, and intercourse is compared to jumping rope ("You just can't do it all day long."). And they'll love the sperm dressed up in tuxedos.

A Kid's First Book About Sex by Joani Blank and Marcia Quackenbush (Illustrator)

Published by Down There Press, 1993 - ISBN: 0940208075

Although nothing in the book is inappropriate, some parents may find this book to be "too much about sex" to feel comfortable giving it to their children. This is the only book I reviewed that mentioned nothing about pregnancy (there is a brief mention of fertilization). Instead, it's all about being familiar with your body (there are several drawing exercises, and a workbook is available to purchase separately), good kinds of touching, masturbation, and in general helping the child to decide for him or herself what "sexy" means. There's also some brief discussion about partnerships (heterosexual or homosexual). The drawings are simple lines, and there's very little clinical language. This is a great book for open-minded, sex-positive families to share.

How Babies Are Made by Andrew C. Andry, Steven Schepp

Published by Little Brown & Co, 1984 - ISBN: 0316042277

Originally published in 1968 by Time-Life Books, this book hasn't changed either - and it needs no revision to remain up-to-date. It actually addresses "the birds and the bees": beginning with flowers, then moving on to chickens, dogs and finally humans, the authors show how reproduction happens in a similar way for all types of living creatures. The brightly colored paper cutout illustrations hold a young child's attention, and keep even the most squeamish parent from being embarrassed.


Resource List: Other Early Elementary Sexuality Education Curricula

from the SIECUS web site:

All About Life: Grades K-4 Caring About Myself, My Family, and My Community
Caren Monastersky, M.S.W., and Ellen Phillips-Angeles, M.S.
This curriculum emphasizes social skills and is designed to prepare young people to care about themselves, their family, and their community. It consists of 20 lessons for grades K through two and 20 lessons for grades three through four on such subjects as friendship, disability, feelings, families, sexual abuse prevention, anger, space, staying healthy, anatomy, babies, and pregnancy.
1995; $35; Seattle-King County Department of Public Health, Health Education Materials Sales; 400 Yesler Way, 3rd Floor, Seattle, WA 98104; Phone: 206/296-4902.

Learning About Family Life: Resources for Learning and Teaching
Barbara Sprung; illustrated by Debra Wainwright
This curriculum helps children in grades K through three form healthy attitudes about sexuality. Developed to meet the New Jersey state mandate for family life education for children in elementary grades, it consists of three components: The Big Book (an easel book that illustrates stories), Resources for Learning and Teaching (a manual for the educator, consisting of 43 lessons), and Families, Friends, and Feelings (a journal for students). Topics include relationships, human growth and development, sexuality and reproduction, responsible behavior, and building strong families.

1992; $100, The Big Book; $25, Resources for Learning and Teaching; $12.50, five copies of Families, Friends, and Feelings; Rutgers University Press, 100 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8099; Phone: 800/446-9323; Fax: 732/445-1974.

When I’m Grown: Life Planning Education
The Center for Population Options
These skills-based curricula—for grades K through two, grades three and four, and grades five and six—are designed to introduce the basic knowledge, attitudes, and skills that children need in order to participate successfully in adolescence and adult life. These curricula are a collection of discussions and participatory activities. Topics include: self-understanding, family, growth and development, friendship, sexuality, life skills, health promotion, and careers. The K through grade two curriculum consists of 50 activities, the grades three and four curriculum consists of 57 activities, and the grades five and six curriculum consists of 94 activities.
1994 (K through two), 1992 (grades three and four/grades five and six); $45, individual volumes; $75, two-volume set; $100, three-volume set; Advocates for Youth, 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20005; Phone: 202/347-5700; Fax: 202/347-2263; Web site:

Boys and Girls Clubs Of America (Abstinence-only)
This program targets young people six to 15 years old. It includes Smart Kids to help 6 to 9 year olds develop self awareness, decision making, and interpersonal skills; Start Smart to help preteens identify and resist peer, social, and media pressures to use drugs and become sexually involved; Stay Smart to help teenagers develop social, resistance, assertiveness, problem-solving, and decision-making skills; and Smart Parents to augment the sessions and teach parents about adolescent drug use and sexuality. All three curricula are currently being revised and updated.
Call the Boys and Girls Clubs of America for pricing: 1230 Peachtree Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30309; Phone: 404/815-5766; Fax: 404/815-5789; Web site:


Resource List: Organizations Dealing With Sexuality Education

American Association for Health Education
1900 Association Drive
Reston, VA 22091
(703) 476-3437

American School Health Association
7264 State Route 43, P.O. Box 708
Kent, OH 44240
(216) 678-1601

CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849
(800) 458-5231

ETR Associates
P.O. Box 1803
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
(800) 321-4407

National AIDS Hotline
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
(800) 344-7432

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 261-4629