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to expect not to see sex mentioned in a book aimed at young girls?

(38 Posts)
emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 22:29:05

Is it a German thing maybe?

I am currently reading this German book to dd1, who is just seven. The book has received lots of praise in Germany, it is generally recommended for age 8 and above, but there is no mention whatsoever that it would be unsuitable for girls younger than that, and as dd1 is quite mature I decided to read it to her.

In one chapter the class in which the main character is discusses chickens, and the teacher says "eggs are made from chickens having sex, the cockerel jumps onto the hen and has sex with the hen. That's how the egg develops, similar to humans." then a child says "but in humans the man doesn't jump onto the woman." the children laugh and the teacher says "no humans do it in a more cosy way."

I sort of jumped at the mention of sex before I had got to that bit so I left that part completely out because I just didn't want to have that conversation with dd1 at that time. AIBU to be suprised to find a passage like this in a book for fairly young childrne?

fishie Tue 08-Jul-08 22:32:22

it sounds a most peculiar book but the sex bit would be ok with me. i was 8 when my sister was born and my mum being pg / having sex was not upsetting at all, must have been similar age to your dd when i found out.

zippitippitoes Tue 08-Jul-08 22:37:45

the chicken bit sounds odder tbh lol

Heathcliffscathy Tue 08-Jul-08 22:39:18

emakana, what's wrong with that? 7 y o should know all about it imo. it's very gentle. nothing horrible?

emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 22:43:10

It's not horrible no but dd1 doesn't know all about it yet and that's why I don't want to have the topic imposed on me, I want to choose when we will talk about it, and that's why it would have been nice to know in advance!

Can you think of any English book for a similar age group that would have a passage like this though?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 08-Jul-08 22:44:18

Mummy Laid an Egg is English, and has some rather direct illustrations in it. To be fair, it is about making babies.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 08-Jul-08 22:45:37

ds1 has some fact usbourne books and there is one on reproduction in some detail - not the smae sort of thing as you would know in advancem but aimed at the 7/8 age group I think.
I agree you would't find something like that in a UK story book.
Though I don't think that's necessarily a positive thing.

littleducks Tue 08-Jul-08 22:46:20

I wouldnt like it.

The chicken thing sounds a bit nuts, maybe thats a translation thing.

Judy Blume is the most saucy thing for pre teens but not sure of age recommendations on those.

MmeBovary Tue 08-Jul-08 22:46:42

I think the thought of chickens "doinG" it might be a good way to bring the general subject up then you can do the "human" stuff as it comes up. Gnerations of our ancestors lived in the countryside and must have seen animals at it (so to speak). Sounds like the moost natural way in my opinion....

Heathcliffscathy Tue 08-Jul-08 22:47:38

emkana, how do you know she doesn't know. she's been subject to playground chat for a good while now.

Flum Tue 08-Jul-08 22:48:15

She is 7 and you have not discussed sex with her. What about when you see animals at it? Where does she think babies come from?

My dd who is 4 knows all about special cuddles wink

Heathcliffscathy Tue 08-Jul-08 22:49:41

i had the convo with ds aged 4 1/2 a couple of weeks ago. it was nerve wracking but he asked and i'm very aware the big school playground is coming in sept.

S1ur Tue 08-Jul-08 22:57:27

think yabu a bit in expecting books to warn of mentioning sex.

It isn't a toddler book and books don't put it all in the blurb. Either you read it first like you might watch a film first and check it for searing/nudity/sex/violence/whatever or you use opportunities to discuss as they are presented to you.

I do get how you feel a bit, because althogu I have already chatted to my 3 year old about reproduction, I keep unknowingly getting books featuring coping with death themes in them. Not necessarily great bedtime reading but on the other hand presents opportunity to find out about the world so hey ho.

emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:03:46

I was just taken aback really, I don't necessarily think it is wrong, but I just couldn't imagine seeing anything like it in an English book!

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 08-Jul-08 23:06:12

You are worried about chickens having sex?! We got caught up in Gay Pride on Saturday and I ended up explaining what transgender was on the train back to Milton Keynes. Fortunately DD2 (7) already knows the facts of life and what gays and lesbians do...

Both DDs were delighted with the parade though, as everyone waved at them. grin

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 08-Jul-08 23:08:03

Oh yes, and when DD2 asked about sex the other week, I directed her to one of DD1's books. "Oh I've read that," she said airily. "But it's more about periods and developing than sex, and it's sex that I want to know more about."


emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:09:37

dd1, maybe due to being the oldest child in the family, is still very innocent.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 08-Jul-08 23:11:18

Well, I thought mine were, at 9 and 7, but it's that school playground...

<<sighs heavily and shuffles off>>

edam Tue 08-Jul-08 23:13:57

Sounds like a very odd book. And giving a very strange message. The eggs we eat are unfertilised and not the result of sex - unless the child lives on a farm, they are unlikely to come across eggs that might grow into chicks. Why give children misinformation that might put them off eating a good source of vitamin D and protein? <waits to be corrected by the chicken keepers>

emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:14:49

flum, she's never seen animals at it either!

Heathcliffscathy Tue 08-Jul-08 23:14:54

ok. deep breath. ds is still very innocent. despite knowing about sex.

emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:16:36

soph, calm, I was struggling for a good while deciding which word to use, put it down to me being German please, I know you can know about sex and still be innocent.

Would not very wordliwise be better? Is that even a word?

You know what I mean though don't you?

Heathcliffscathy Tue 08-Jul-08 23:17:16

it sounds like a stupid book.

emkana Tue 08-Jul-08 23:28:43

It's good in places.

onebatmother Wed 09-Jul-08 00:17:39

I do find the idea of there being something 'saucy' in books for children which mention sex, really depressing.

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