Bare Naked Review
There’s nothing quite like having a reviewer as highly respected as Dana Rudolph, founder of Mombian (a blog, resource directory, and book database for lesbian moms and other LGBTQ parents), totally get and appreciate all the decisions made during the course of creating one’s book.
When Annick Press and I decided to update The Bare Naked Book, there was much discussion about one spread in particular, about which Dana says:
The pages on genitals show children taking off their clothes or on the toilet. While the genitals are clearly seen, they are shown in scenes that look like snapshots of everyday life, and feel appropriate for the age and topic. One child with a penis has a pink shirt; another with short hair has a vulva, but again, they are not gendered. Stinson stresses in the text, “Whatever you call whatever you have, your genitals belong to you.”
Early in her review, Dana tells potential readers:
People with disabilities are included through specific language about “Eyes that see and eyes that are blind,” “Ears that hear and ears that are deaf,” and more…Two pages take us inside the body, “Where happy and sad live under every part.” … We see many different skin tones, as well as people with vitiligo (loss of pigmentation), birth marks, stretch marks, skin spots, scars, armpit and chest hair, tattoos, body piercings, braces, missing teeth, and glasses. There are characters with Muslim hijabs and burkas as well as Sikh head coverings (turbans and patka)…
Dana sums up her hearty endorsement with:
This is a joyous and empowering book that should be welcomed by many seeking such volumes to teach their kids about bodies and their parts, but also about human diversity broadly speaking. It’s a must-have for any young child’s bookshelf. (Make sure you get the edition with the cover shown [in the review], currently available only in hardback; earlier editions are not as inclusive.)
Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.