Book Review: The Period Book by: Karen + Jennifer Gravelle

Honestly, I have yet to find the “perfect” book for younger-aged girls. I am still looking, so stay tuned. To quote Beverly Cleary: “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, WRITE IT.” Hmmmm…

I do think this little paperback has solid information, is easy to read and can be a worthwhile option in your family library.

With simple illustrations and easy to understand language, it covers puberty and periods well. The author also covers the first gynecological visit and the very basics about sex and pregnancy. I especially like the question/answer chapter with questions many young girls ask concerning “Is this normal?” Parents, please understand how often that very question is what needs to be addressed from the get-go. Girls need to be affirmed over and over that THEY ARE NORMAL!

What I often hear from parents is that they don’t want their child to have ALL the information they see in one book. For example, you may not feel your third grader needs to hear about a first gynecological visit until later (as with this book). Below are a few basic strategies when trying to use books for information and to help jump start conversations with your child.

  1. Read the book before sharing it with your child. Understand what content is there.

  2. Especially with younger girls, reading the book together may be the way to go. This will allow you to filter information, give alternate language, and answer immediate questions as you read.

  3. Feel the freedom to read parts of a book together at one point and other parts later, or not at all.

  4. If you give your child a book, HAND it to them. Please don’t just leave it for them to find or under their pillow. You want to communicate your availability and comfort in being their primary source of sex education.

  5. Follow up so that you can answer questions and initiate discussion. Even if they do not come to you and ask--YOU initiate follow up conversation.

  6. No book is perfect. No parent is perfect. We are not trying for perfect. Our goal is to do the very best we can to give the right information at the right time.


*Note: The Period Book has been around a long time. It was updated last year, and the newer edition includes some additional topics. The picture posted is the original book. It is available at most libraries, which allows you to look through it and decide if it is a good fit for you and your child.