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Banned Book Review: Asking About Sex and Growing Up

September 5, 2006

54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole

Reason: promoted values that some parents disapproved of and considered unsuitable for their children.

Joanna Cole is the author of the ever popular “Magic Schoolbus” series.  Apparently “The Magic Schoolbus Tours Your Reproductive System” didn’t fly with her editors.  The drawings are done by the same guy who illustrated many of Beverly Cleary’s pre-teen books and have that same simple style that seems to catch people in the middle of movement.  The book reads like the sort of books schools give kids to teach them basic subjects like sharing, cleanliness, and proper behavior.  It is structured in much the same way as a conversation with a child might go.  A two or three paragraph summary of each subject is followed by a series of questions and answers.  The answers are written almost as if a kindly parent were patiently answering a curious child, giving the whole book an air of not only instructing a child who might read it, but also a parent who might not be able to find the right words.  If a parent wanted to, they could memorize the short illustrative stories that litter the book and rattle them off when the time comes.  The book is recommended for ages 9-12 and it certainly hits that mark adequately.

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