Anya's Favorite Books For Children

by Robie H. Harris | Ages 2+

This book emphasizes how much male and female bodies have in common. It names all the body parts and includes the internal reproductive organs.

by Dagmar Geisler | Ages 2+

As a child, there are often people trying to pick you up, hug you, or tickle you.   This book teaches body autonomy, that we each have the right to say what happens with our body.  It does not address private parts or sexual abuse, so this is a “starter” book, appropriate for all families.

by Hunter Manasco | Ages 2+

The rules of physical contact can be tricky to grasp for the very young or for children with special needs, yet these are exactly the kids who are at a heightened risk of abuse. This friendly picture book explains in simple terms how to tell the difference between acceptable and inappropriate touch.  Private parts, and photos or videos of private parts are addressed.  There is no mention of child sexual abuse, so while this book gives the guidelines, it is a lighter touch.

What Makes a Baby?

by Cory Silverberg | Ages 2+

This book is amazingly gender neutral and the illustrations are racially neutral. There is no discussion of sexual intercourse, but topics such as conception, fetal development, birth and C-section are included. I recommend this book especially for non-traditional families that may have used IVF or surrogacy.

C is for Consent by Eleanor Morrison

by Eleanor Morrison | Ages 2+

Reading this book with your child is a lesson about body boundaries. The child in the story goes to a party with family and friends. His parents encourage him to make his own choices about receiving and offering physical affection. At the end of the story, Finn waits for consent before holding the hand of his female best friend. C IS FOR CONSENT follows expert recommendations about letting kids make their own decisions regarding physical affection. The book teaches babies, toddlers, parents, and grandparents that it is okay for kids to say no to hugs and kisses, and that what happens to a person’s body is up to them.

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

by Jessica Love | Ages 2+

This beautiful book demonstrates acceptance for a little boy, who likes to play dress up in a gender non- conforming way.

by Jill Starishevsky | Ages 3+

Using rhymes and neutral illustrations (gender neutral and racially neutral), this book teaches kids to tell an adult if anyone tries to touch their private parts.  This is the story of a child who was abused and told and was believed and protected.  It’s strength is that it is so direct; that’s also something some parents might be uncomfortable with.

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

by Michael Hall | Ages 3+

A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as “red” suffers an identity crisis in this picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It’s an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon’s Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red will appeal to fans of Lois Ehlert, Eric Carle, and The Day the Crayons Quit, and makes a great gift for readers of any age!

Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship by Jessica Walton

by Jessica Walton | Ages 3+

One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can’t figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: “In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.” And Errol says, “I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.”

Do You Have a Secret?

by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos | Ages 3+

What’s the difference between a good secret and a bad secret? This book reviews all kinds of secrets and helps children use their feelings to decide if they need to tell a grown up about a bad secret.

by Robie H. Harris | Ages 4+

This is my #1 recommendation for teaching kids about sex.  A charming bird and bee provide humor and emotional validation as sex, IVF, multiples, different kinds of families, and good vs. bad touch are presented.

by Anastasia Higginbotham | Ages 4+

The dialogue focuses on the dynamics of sex, rather than the mechanics, as Grandma reminds readers that sex is not marriage or reproduction, and doesn’t look the same for everyone. Instead, each person’s sexuality is their very own to discover, explore, and share if they choose.

by Liz Walker | Ages 4+

A sweet rhyming story about a little girl who is exposed to explicit content online and tells her parent. Illustrations are child-like drawings. Not for Kids! is simple and to the point, a great tool for parents to open conversations about what to do if they are exposed to explicit content, and for parents to learn how to best help their kids cope with what they’ve seen.

by Kristen A. Jenson | Ages 4+

Online porn exposure is a problem even for very young kids.  Using gentle, age-appropriate messages, children will learn to Turn, Run & Tell when they are accidentally exposed to inappropriate content.

Social-Emotional Learning

I'm Feeling Mad by Natalie Shaw

by Natalie Shaw | Ages 2+

When Daniel Tiger feels MAD, he stomps his feet and roars. Then he remembers to take a deep breath and count to four. Soon he feels better. What do you do with the mad that you feel?

by Natalie Shaw | Ages 2+

When Daniel Tiger feels HAPPY, he sings! What makes you feel happy? Come along with Daniel as he and his friends learn about their feelings and what makes them happy. This adorable book includes tips for parents and caregivers to help guide little ones through their emotions.

by Natalie Shaw | Ages 2+

Everyone feels sad sometimes, even Daniel Tiger. When he feels sad, he remembers that it’s okay to feel that way. Soon, he’ll feel better! Come along with Daniel as he and his friends learn how to deal with their feelings. This adorable book includes tips for parents and caregivers to help guide little ones through their emotions.

by Natalie Shaw | Ages 2+

When Daniel Tiger feels silly and needs to calm down, he gives a squeeze, nice and slow, takes a deep breath, and lets it go. Soon, he feels better! Come along with Daniel as he and his friends learn how to handle their feelings. This adorable book includes tips for parents and caregivers to help guide little ones through their emotions.

by Natalie Shaw | Ages 2+

When Daniel Tiger feels grateful, he makes sure to say “thank you”! Sometimes he even makes a thank you card to show how much he cares. Who do you want to thank today? Parents will love teaching their little ones all about what it means to be thankful in this adorable book that includes tips for them to help guide kids through their emotions.

by Dr. Seuss | Ages 2+

Are you a Star-Belly Sneetch or a Plain-Belly Sneetch? This delightful book contains four tales with deliciously subtle takes on how silly it is to be, well, silly. “The Sneetches,” “The Zax,” “Too Many Daves,” and “What Was I Scared Of?” make this energetic compilation a must-have for every library. Full of Dr. Seuss’s signature rhymes and unmistakable characters, it’s perfect for new and lifelong Seuss fans.

Looking for More?

See Anya’s Favorite Books for Parents by clicking the “See Parent’s Books” button below.

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