The Story of Me, winner of the ECPA Medallion of Excellence Christian Book Award, is the first of four books in the "God's Design for Sex" series, all written by Stan and Brenda B. Jones. The authors' intent is to offer age appropriate tools that help parents be proactive teachers and counselors rather than reactive problem solvers. Starting the discussion early prevents having to re-teach errant lessons learned from other sources such as the media, classmates or friends.
This first book shows a boy with his family, a mom, dad and baby sister. He asks to hear his story, the way God made him. Readers listen in as a loving question and answer conversation takes place. The book is packed with information. Here is a basic list of what it teaches. Direct quotes are in italics.
- Why are babies born? To be loved by their parents and to grow up and love God.
- Who can have babies? "God wants only married people to have babies...Sometimes a mother knows she will not be able to give everything her baby needs. This mother might let another mommy and daddy adopt her baby."
- How are babies made? God "took a little tiny piece of Daddy's body and a tiny piece of Mommy's body ... God put you in Mommy's womb, or uterus, inside her body." The text also explains: it takes about nine months; while in the mother's womb, the baby breathes and eats through the umbilical cord. This is why we have belly buttons.
- How do babies get out of their mothers? God made the vagina "so it could stretch just big enough to let you out." But some babies could be in danger if born that way, so their mommies have an operation so they can be born safely.
- Without the cord, how do babies eat? "Mother's bodies take the food we eat and make part of it into milk that comes out of our breasts. Our milk is the perfect food for a young baby!"
- How and why are boys and girls different? Boys have penises, and girls have vaginas. "Only girls can become mommies, and only boys can become daddies ... God made all people to love God and make Him happy by obeying His rules." We make God happy when we love Him and love each other. We show our love to Him through obedience; we can show our love to each other "by hugs and kisses, and by taking care of each other."
- Are all hugs and kisses good? No. "God does not want anyone to take love from you that you don't want to share." Our bodies are private. Mothers and fathers help bathe young children, and doctors may check our bodies, but those are the only exceptions. "Someday when you marry, you won't have to be private with your wife."
What I Like: I greatly appreciate the concept. What I like the most is the parent guide at the beginning of the book. This part (5 pages long) grounds parents in the need for these conversations and equips them to initiate the conversations without being extremely uncomfortable. There is bound to be some discomfort, but thanks to this guide, it doesn't have to be severe. I also like the illustrations. The artist did a fantastic job with a sensitive topic by keeping the focus on the faces even when other body parts were visible.
What I Dislike: The content may be too thorough. I want my kids to have correct information, but I fear the repercussions of them sharing this information with their friends, which is bound to happen with preschoolers. They repeat everything and not always accurately! I'm not sure they need this much at this age. I think the same concepts can be taught without so many specific details. Also, this book caters to traditional families. Children with single parents or other nontraditional guardians may come away with more questions than answers.
Overall Rating: Very Good, but not for every family.
Age Appeal: 3-5
Publisher Info: NavPress, 2005; ISBN: 0891098437; Paperback; $9.99
Buy it Now from Christianbook.com for $7.99!
You may also purchase the entire series (four children's books ranging from ages 3 to 14) for $31.96.
Or buy this book at Amazon.com for $9.99.
Special Info: While my feelings are mixed about the children's books in this series, I STRONGLY recommend the adult companion: How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex. It is a wonderful help in shaping our children's character and increasing their chances for victory in handling their sexuality wisely. You can purchase this book from Christianbook.com for $15.99 or from Amazon.com for $14.95.