With a comic style, Period. by Ruth Redford and illustrated by Aitana Giraldez (Mayo Clinic Press Kids, August 2023) gives tween girls a friendly introduction to the menstruation process. The subtitle is “The Quick Guide to Every Uterus.” Three friendly cartoon friends have a conversation, giving young kids characters to relate to in a way that does not feel awkward, and the instructional text on each page gives accurate and straight-forward explanations, using proper medical terminology.
Why is it that we find it awkward to discuss menstruation? I sure remember it feeling that way when I was a youth. Since my daughter is a tween-going-on-teenager, I’m trying to be more open and less taboo about the natural process she’ll be going through.
Period. gives a great overview of mensuration. The beginning shows an accurate illustration of the female reproductive system and a brief but thorough explanation of the menstruation process, from ovary to period. Other chapters give ideas on being prepared for a period, expecting your first period, managing a period, overcoming challenges and worries, dealing with PMS, and more. Period supplies are explained, including pads, tampons, menstrual cup, and period underwear.
The non-menstruation aspects of puberty are not expanded upon: once it suggests that puberty brings “sexual thoughts and feelings,” and the same page mentions zits, hormones, hair growth, and breast growth as symptoms of puberty. These concepts are not expanded upon beyond that. One of the three menstruators illustrated has short hair and may have been included in order to portray a trans male, but the term is never used in the text and, of course, such a person would still have a uterus and therefore need this book.
In less than 50 pages, the book covers a wide variety of issues in a very compact and kid-friendly manner. It certainly is a “quick” read as the subtitle suggests, and yet it covers just what a kid needs to gain familiarity and comfort with the idea of starting menstruation.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.