Skip to main content

Who Has What? written by Robie H Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies by Robie H Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott is a standout book, both for the fact that there are very few books that cover this subject on the shelves today and for the relatable, story-like way that Harris presents the facts. Even if you are a family that is completely comfortable talking about these things, this book is invaluable for the age appropriate presentation of the visuals that go with the information. As Kirkus Reviews notes, "This much-needed title stands out for its comfortably familiar presentation of material adults sometimes find difficult to share with young."

A trip to the beach and some word play between a brother an sister start off Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies. Nellie and Gus talk about bodies and how everybody has a body. And, while bodies are different, most things about boys and girls are the same. As they drive past a busy playground the text reads, "Boys and girls like to catch frogs, swing high up in the air, ride scooters, and make a lot of noise." One more page talks about how boys and girls are the same and like to "run fast, play catch, and take their dollies and stuffed animals for a stroll," then, as they set up their towels on the beach, the children begin to talk about how boys' and girls' bodies are different but not "all THAT different."

Who has what parts? Before moving on to the parts that truly make boys' and girls' bodies different, Harris labels all the parts that are the same, including dog parts, from nose to ears to chin, cheek and eye, moving on to neck, shoulder, fingers and so on, on the following page. When Nellie, her mother and their girl dog go into the cabana to change, labels point out the "opening to the vagina," the "opening where pee comes out" and the "opening here poop comes out" for Nellie and the dog while the text explains the female anatomy, noting that "boys, baby boys, and men do not have an opening to the vagina." Gus's boy anatomy is covered on the next page, then Mom and Dad enter the picture and appropriately palced boxes reveal the internal reproductive organs that Nellie, her mother and the dog share and those that Gus, his dad and the male dog share. The use of words that young readers might use makes Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies even more comprehensive for young listeners. Breast feeding, facial hair are touched upon as well and the illustrations for these pages show, discretely, a mother nursing, a father with a beard giving his baby a  bottle, and a very pregnant woman.

One final thing, Wescott's wonderful illustrations show all different kinds of families and a range of races, ages and nationalities, which I really appreciate.

Robie H Harris is also the author of It's Not the Stork, a great book about where babies come from for ages four and up, It's So Amazing: A Book ABout Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families, a slightly more in depth look at sexual health for children seven and up and It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health, a book for kids ten and up. With these four books, you should have the first twelve years or so of your child's life covered!

WHO HAS WHAT? Text copyright © 2011 by Bee Productions, Inc. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.


Anonymous said…
i love her books

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…