Kids have lots of questions about the human body. After all, it's what they live in every day! If, like me, you are a little rusty on your human biology facts these children's books about the human body will help both you and your kids learn a thing or two about all the systems, organs, bones and other good stuff that have kept homo sapiens going for thousands of years!
Find several topics below, starting with general human biology, moving on to every parent's favorite topic: puberty! Finally, last but definitely not least, read a few books about body safety and consent–a crucial topic no parent should avoid. There are books about the human body for every age!
One thing you won't find on this list: brain books! For that topic, visit my list of books about the brain. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
General Human Body Books
Weird But True Human Body: 300 Outrageous Facts about Your Awesome Anatomy (National Geographic Kids). My kids adore the Weird but True books from National Geographic and I bet yours do too! In this edition, they will learn all about the crazy things that our body does to keep us going. Expect your children to relay all the fascinating facts to you over the dinner table.
X-Ray Me!: Look Inside Your Body by Felicitas Horstschafer. This is an excellent book for preschoolers on up. This sturdy interactive board book includes two handles for kids to hold the book up to themselves, positioning it on their bodies as an x-ray of sorts so they can visualize their own bones and organs. No radiation required!
The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole. The Magic School Bus is a reliable picture book series which teaches kids about science subjects. Take a ride with Ms. Frizzle and the school kids as they shrink down and travel through the systems of the human body. Tons of facts accompany a time-tested narrative in a series kids love.
Human Body Theater: A Non-Fiction Revue by Maris Wicks. A tour through the human body, graphic novel style? Yes, please! This nonfiction graphic novel teaches kids about every inch of the body and how it works. This is an excellent book choice for kids who may be reluctant readers, who may normally choose nonfiction books, or who don't like text-dense books. It's also really fun!
The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body by David Macaulay. In contrast to the above graphic novel, Macaulay's book is a text-dense examination of the human body. This is a good choice for middle school and high school aged kids and kids who really want to delve into the details. It is also a great family reference book to own and keep on the coffee table. Like all of Macaulay's books, it is comprehensive, well researched and full of marvelous, intricate illustrations.
Your Amazing Digestion from Mouth through Intestine by Joanne Settel. Did I find a human body book for kids that is actually a collection of poetry? Of course I did! Witty, rhyming poems relay fascinating details about how the digestive system works. I recommend reading it in short bursts so you can really enjoy the poetry. I feel as though it's possible to miss a lot of details if you read straight through.
Puberty and Reproduction
It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends, ages 4 and up.
It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, ages 7 and up.
It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health, ages 10 and up by Robie H. Harris.
I haven't read every book on sexual health and puberty out there but I highly recommend this series. I'm a big believer in speaking openly to your kids about this subject, not using euphemisms and answering kids' questions about their bodies in a direct manner. Harris's three books geared towards different ages are excellent resources for parents and kids.
Who Has What? All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies by Robie H. Harris. If you prefer to read a narrative picture book, this is an good book for preschoolers who are starting to notice that not everyone's body is the same. Strangely, while it gives accurate names for boy "parts," it does not name the girl's body parts (unless it has been revised) so parents, please fill in the blanks when reading!
Books about Body Safety
Again, there are quite a few books about consent and body safety out there. I consider this an essential topic to discuss with your kids multiple times over the years. The books below are aimed at preschoolers and elementary aged kids. I recommend you look through the books first so you can choose the most appropriate for your family. Each book includes parent tips to help you talk to your kids about this crucial subject.
Let's Talk about Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect: Teach children about body ownership, respect, feelings, choices and recognizing bullying behaviors by Jayneen Sanders. I really appreciate that this book depicts children of all colors, sizes, religions and abilities. It introduces the concept of an invisible body boundary. "No one should come inside your body boundary without you saying it's okay." I love how this book asks the reader questions like, "How do you think this makes the child feel?" as well as going over concepts like consent and talking to a trusted adult. The text introduces situations and asks the readers for suggestions as to how to handle it. The book is not exclusively about sexual touch, but includes scenarios like hugging, shoving, pushing and more. The parent discussion in the endnotes outlines talking points page by page.
My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes created by pro familia (a German organization). This book focuses on learning the importance of owning your own body, and body awareness. There is an emphasis on types of touch that are both welcome and unwelcome. The girl protagonist learns different ways of saying no and gains a positive self-image.
My Body Belongs to Me: A Book about Body Safety by Jill Starishevsky. This book is a little different than the above choice because the protagonist experiences an unwelcome advance on his body by his uncle. Because he has been taught to always go to his trusted adults when he experiences an unsafe situation, he tells his parents who reassure him that he did the right thing. This book contains some excellent parent tips.
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