Hair in Funny Places
Publisher: Random House
Who else but Babette Cole would have the audacity to tackle puberty in a picture book - and the comic genius to make it work? This hilarious, ingenious book is formed of a conversation between a small girl and her teddy bear about 'Mr and Mrs Hormone' who 'live inside you' and 'mix the potions that turn children into adults'.
Hair in Funny Places is fifth in the 'family dilemmas' series that began with Mummy Laid an Egg. Typical of Cole's no-holds-barred approach to bodily issues, over the course of the book she touches briefly on everything from menstruation to acne, body odour, and even erections.
The illustrations are silly but show teenage girls and boys in their various stages of development in appropriate ways, and while Cole's occasionally gleeful depiction of naked bodies might raise a few adult eyebrows, children will be sure to laugh out loud. Hair in Funny Places is an excellent basic introduction for young, pre-pubescent boys and girls alike, which does much to normalise the experience and pave the way for future discussions. How much you, as a parent, seek to expand on the topic is then up to you.