March 24, 2021

The Bare Naked Book

Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Melissa Cho
Annick Press
36 pp.
Ages 3-5
March 2021

We are all different and we are all the same, and this new edition of Kathy Stinson's classic body book reminds us of this. It celebrates how we are all similar in our body parts of hair, eyes, ears, noses, arms, teeth, tongues, bums, genitals, navels, toes and more and yet our differences in these similarities make us all naturally unique. The Bare Naked Book uncovers, i.e., lays bare (!), all the body facts to help little ones understand their bodies' bits and pieces and accept themselves as they are.
From The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, illus. by Melissa Cho
With a wonderful parade of bodies, Kathy Stinson starts her picture book with the declaration that...
Bodies, bodies!
Big and small,
short and tall,
young and old–
Every BODY is different!
Her sentiment is reflected in Melissa Cho's illustrations of people of all ages, colours, abilities and sizes who undoubtedly are as different on the inside as they are on the outside. (Aren't we all?)
From The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, illus. by Melissa Cho
Then Kathy Stinson looks at different body parts and how they may be different or what they can do, whether it be seeing or not seeing eyes that can cry or wink, or hands "Washing, holding, clapping, folding, dining, signing."
From The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, illus. by Melissa Cho
With each body part comes a question to help young children, primarily toddlers and preschoolers, locate their own for themselves. This reinforces their understanding and begins the discussion about how we are the same but different. There are additional lessons in Kathy Stinson's subtle statements like "Whatever you call whatever you have, your genitals belong to you" and a reminder after using your bum for a toilet break to "Remember please to wipe–and wash your hands!"
Kathy Stinson's original The Bare Naked Book (Annick Press, 1986), illustrated by Heather Collins, garnered much attention for its unabashed naming of human body parts but its honesty has won legions of fans. This new edition uses some of the original text but there is much that has been revised, providing a contemporary outlook of our world. Enhanced with illustrations by animator and designer Melissa Cho, The Bare Naked Book now reflects fully the diversity of our population. There are individuals of all shapes and colours and abilities, healthy and not so healthy, decorated and scarred, and all wonderfully uncommon and common. Melissa Cho makes our bodies a celebration of boldness, in colour and shape, and helps to ensure that every child will see themselves and those important to them in The Bare Naked Book. I was impressed by the diversity of physical traits and implied attributes of religion, culture, gender expression and relationships rarely seen in children's books but integral in our beautifully-varied world. These include a woman in a burka, several persons with amputated limbs including one with a blade prosthetic, someone with vitiligo, and another with mastectomy scars. It's as Kathy Stinson culminates her book...
Bodies, bodies
To love and to 
So many 
From The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, illus. by Melissa Cho


  1. Thanks for sharing these posts. We authors appreciate you!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia. That's very kind of you to say.