The Girl Guide - 50 lessons in learning to love your changing 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 to one side and without embarrassment demystified the changes a girl’s body goes through in puberty.
It is fresh, modern, factual and without apology. For certain, some may find it in-your-face and even a little shocking. But more because it so ably describes and tackles what parents can flounder and struggle with. We can all probably remember something excruciating about the way our key parent tried to approach this vital subject. There may be certain words that they chose that still make us shudder or phrases where we wanted the ground to open up and save us from that very uncomfortable moment. We are all human. And probably right now we have some sympathy for that miserable parent of the past, trying their best with the knowledge and confidence they had at the time.
This book is a brilliant antidote to all those memories. The illustrations in this are comforting and actually inspired. And brave, but in a breezy, big hearted, good humoured way. Actually fun, even though the subject is important. 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 just makes it easy to read and digest. Without horror!
And 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.
My daughter was ready for this book in the run up to her 12th birthday (but as we know they are all different and only a parent can really judge when is the right time). Due to the refreshing nature of this subject, I would definitely suggest you read it first as a parent, so you are aware of what is covered and are happy with the content - we all have our view of what is appropriate for our child to know at certain ages. It will also mean you will be prepared if your child wants to chat about what they have discovered.
If you are looking for a book for your child to read before covering sex and relationships in Year 7 at school, we found this a great choice. Knowledge, as we know is power, and this is a wonderful empowering read for tweens and teens (and yes, us parents will learn something too).
For tweens, teens and any child whose body is starting to develop.
By Marawa Ibrahim. Illustrated by Sinem Erkas. Paperback.
Recommended by publisher for 10 years +
Colour illustrated. 224 pages. Paperback.