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BOOK REVIEW - The Girl Guide by Marawa Ibrahim

10 May 2021 -

50 lessons in learning to love your body 

If this book were a person it would be a cool, straight-talking American cousin who came to stay for the weekend, took your tween or young teen out for ice-cream and without embarrassment demystified the changes a girl’s body goes through in puberty. It is fresh, modern, factual and without apology.

It ably describes and tackles what parents can struggle with. We probably all remember something excruciating about the way our parent tried to approach this subject. Certain words that they chose that still make us shudder. We are all human. And probably right now, if you have a tween, we have sympathy for that parent of the past, trying their best with the knowledge and confidence they had at the time.

This book is a brilliant antidote to any cringing memories. The illustrations are inspired. Brave and good-humoured. Actually fun, even though the subject is important. Showing very simply something that would take a chapter to explain. I particularly enjoyed a whole page of different pairs of balloons to show how breasts can vary.

Nothing is avoided. The issue of hair! Tampons! And the ‘white stuff’!  All done in reassuring, unflinching prose. There is a confident, friendly tone that makes it easy to read and digest. Not just physical changes are covered, there is plenty on mood and feelings here too. Retouching images in the media, comfort eating, feeling that everyone is noticing your bodily changes, thrush, and so much more - this is one useful manual from someone who has been there.

Big Alice devoured this book and I feel hugely relieved to have found it. There was no question of whether we would stock it or not. I gave it to her just after her 12th birthday and it was spot on timing (but we are all different and each parent needs to judge when is the right time). I would definitely suggest you read it first, so you are happy and aware of the content - we all have our view of what is appropriate to know at certain ages. Plus, you are then prepared if your child wants to chat about what they have discovered.

Big Alice is now covering sex & relationships in Year 7 at school and feels supremely well prepared. Knowledge, as we know is power, and this is a wonderful empowering read for tweens and teens (and yes, us parents too).

Available now on our site.

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