KAREN GRAVELLE the author of Walker & Company's best-selling nonfiction titles What's Going on Down There? and The Driving Book. She lives in Long Island City, New York. DEBBIE PALEN is a professional illustrator from Cleveland, Ohio. When not illustrating, she can be found doing yoga, writing, or reading comics. She has illustrated five books for Walker & Company.
With the help of her 15-year-old niece, Karen Gravelle hits her mark with this accessible guide for adolescent girls. Frank and at times funny, the book focuses on changes that occur during puberty, specifically those accompanying menstruation. Though the scope is, intentionally, not as comprehensive as many handbooks on adolescence, the authors address nitty-gritty, practical details not usually included in such tomes (e.g., tips on improvising a sanitary pad). In addition to answering a range of "What if?" questions that would be embarrassing for many girls to ask, the authors also cover such subjects as what to expect from a visit to a gynecologist; living with pimples, cramps and "weird emotions"; and how to communicate better with parents. A comforting chapter about physical development draws an important distinction between being "normal" and being "like everyone else." Though sometimes silly or clichéed, Palen's cartoon illustrations echo the candor of the text and reinforce its kid-friendly approach. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)
Gr 4-7-In a friendly, chatty manner, Gravelle explains the external and internal changes of puberty. She gives girls just enough practical details to know what to expect and how to cope with periods. Questions about big and little matters are answered in the same reassuring, sisterly vein. Humorous line drawings add to the light tone. Similar to Period (Volcano, 1991) by Gardner-Loulan, Lopez, and Quackenbush, this title is more direct, has fewer distractions, and the information is well indexed. While it doesn't replace a comprehensive work like Lynda Madaras's The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Girls (Newmarket, 1987), its directness and simplicity makes it a solid choice, especially for younger girls.æMartha Gordon, formerly at South Salem Library, NY