The Care and Keeping of YOU: The Body Book for Girls, by Valorie Lee Schaefer

The Care and Keeping of YOU: The Body Book for Girls. By Valorie Lee Schaefer.  Illustrated by Norm Bendell.  American Girl Publishing, Inc., 1998.  104 pages. $9.95

Content: The Care and Keeping of You provides information to girls about caring for their bodies and keeping themselves healthy, from head to toe.  It also provides information about puberty and the physical changes girls can expect.  From teeth brushing and sports safety to bra buying and dealing with feelings, this book covers a lot of territory.  In a body-positive, nonjudgmental way, girls can learn about their health and hygiene through easy to read text, illustrations of many different types of girls, and special “Body Talk” pages sprinkled throughout the book, that include answers to some commonly asked questions.

Review: This is a great book, with important information, presented in an excellent form.  There is a lot of information in this book.  Information that parents may not have thought to talk to their tween daughters about.  Information that tween girls might be embarrassed to ask anyone about.  This book gives girls important facts and opens the door for more in-depth discussions with a trusted adult.  The illustrations portray a variety of ethnic groups as well as somewhat diverse body types.  There are rounder girls and skinnier girls, though, to be fully representative, the book should include images of overweight girls to be more accurate.  The text encourages girls to make their own decisions about their bodies, and supports them in figuring out what is most comfortable for themselves.  This is so important, for anyone, really, but particularly for young girls who are so prone to criticizing themselves and invalidating their own thoughts and feelings.  Schaefer addresses body image issues with sensitivity and support.  A common theme throughout the book is that girls should speak to a trusted adult whenever they have questions or need help.  But also, this book gives them a place to be independent and learn on their own.  Highly recommended to have in the house of 8-14 year old girls.  Just leave it laying around, they’ll pick it up when they’re ready. Note: does not address issues of sexuality.

Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Reading/Interest Level: 8 -14 years

Available in: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0613113830

Similar Books: The Care & Keeping of You Journal; Ready, Set, Grow!: A What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Younger Girls; The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions

Subjects: human bodies, girls’ bodies, growing up, puberty, hygiene, health

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