How do you teach your child about sex? It’s a perennial question that has spawned hundreds of picture books aimed at demystifying sex.
But for Canadian author Cory Silverberg, something was missing. Silverberg, who uses the pronouns they/them, felt that sex books aimed at children often omitted mention of intimacy in the context of disability or gender nonconformity. And they started making their own book.
They wanted to tell a story of how babies are made that would apply to all kinds of children, whether they were conceived traditionally or through reproductive technologies, whether they live with adoptive or biological parents. , and whatever their family configuration.
Book reviewer Elaine Blair, who had also felt that children’s literature on sex lacked a bit of inclusiveness, remembers being drawn to the fact that Silverberg’s “Sex is a Funny Word” is one of the few children’s books that oppose the fact that children encounter representations of sexuality in the media.
Ms. Blair met with Silverberg in Houston to understand the seed of the idea and the editorial process of delivering the book from concept to print.
Additional production for The Sunday Read was contributed by Emma Kehlbeck, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Elena Hecht, Desiree Ibekwe, Saskia Solomon, Tanya Pérez, Marion Lozano, Naomi Noury, Krish Seenivasan, Corey Schreppel, Margaret Willison, Kate Winslett and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Mike Benoist, Sam Dolnick, Laura Kim, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin, Blake Wilson and Ryan Wegner.