Libraries aren’t so big on stocking “consumable” books, that is, books that are designed to be written in and then are good for little else afterwards. So, Joani wrote A Kid’s First Book About Sex, so that children’s libraries could have something to keep on the shelf. (It’s pretty much the same content as The Playbook for Kids About Sex, just without the spaces for writing and drawing in.) It’s not about where babies come from—there’s plenty of books about that—but about nudity and self-awareness and feelings and privacy and different kinds of touch. Joani wanted this book to be in libraries so that more people could have access to it, because she thinks people should have access to good sex education.
As you can imagine, some parents were not wild about the fact that a book about sex was on the shelf in the children’s library, and some parents in Hammond, Ind. decided to take action. They employed the age-old tactic of borrowing the book, not returning it, and simply paying for it when the library came calling. The library had to replace their copy of A Kid’s First Book About Sex many times, and finally ended up telling the group to stop pressuring them, it wasn’t going to work, this book was going to be on the shelf no matter what. And for standing their ground, the Hammond library won an Intellectual Freedom award from the Indiana Library Association.
The Kids’ First Book About Sex and the Playbook For Kids About Sex are out of print now, but Joani still thinks that people should have access to good sex education. To that end, they’re available for free download in pdf form on her website.