Elba’s little ABC of Sex Education

$36.00 Inkl. moms

A professionally grounded children’s book that delivers a good story for both children and adults, while it in a short post-script conveys information about children’s sexuality, which seems to be lacking in our society.  The author of the book is a trained psychologist who teaches future educators, teachers and tutors, and has previously worked as a prison officer. The contact with both inmates and students has, together with psychological and neurological knowledge, made the author aware of the potential negative consequences when children are prevented from gradually learning about their sexuality and the norms surrounding it.

Very naturally, children transgress each other’s boundaries. This is also the case in games with sexual content, and therefore, as in all other games, there is a need for adults to help children be receptive of each other and society’s norms. This is one of the topics in a short postscript, which also talks about sexual development and points out the importance of recognizing children’s emerging sexuality.

Learning about one’s own body – along with confidentiality when talking to close adults about sexuality – is preventive in relation to sexual abuse. Through the children’s book, children gain knowledge about what is right and wrong and learn that it’s easy and helpful to go to an adult when something becomes uncomfortable or too difficult to handle.

The book is primarily for children in kindergarten, pre-school and elementary school children in the form of an exciting story that makes the exploration of sexuality something natural. At the same time, it is signaled that there is a need for adults who regulate and guide children on their way to being understanding of each other and society’s norms.

After each chapter in the book there are question to prompt and inspire dialogue related to the content. For older children, this may be used together with small writing exercises. At the same time, it can be noted that slightly older children will be able to read the book on their own. They will also be able to extract more knowledge from the book’s anatomical illustrations.

Finally, the learnings about the body and sexuality that will stem from this book, will strengthen children’s social-sexual development, and be preventive in regard to sexual misconduct.


A hardcover book with yarn stapling in the middle that makes the book very solid and pleasant to read for children, as you can turn to any page and the pages will remain folded out until you turn to the next page. The book is printed on 130 gram silk-paper and it is 6.7 X 8.7 inches.

3 reviews for Elba’s little ABC of Sex Education

  1. Anne Fricke Rudbeck

    Frida Nøddebo Nyrup’s book about Elba, who learns about penises and vulvas- and much more – is a refreshing contribution to the still very limited stack of children’s books about children’s sexuality; especially because tabooing children’s sexual curiosity and doctor games is non-existent in the book – and we need that!
    When you teach gender, sexuality and diversity in a teacher education, you know that the development of sexuality (still!) has hard conditions at children’s level. This knowledge stems from a search of existing literature and research in the field, as well as from the students, who report from their internships in the Danish institutions, that children’s sexual development and curiosity are still taboo in many places. The consequence of this may be that children grow up with a view of sexuality as something to be diverted and hidden away, which can give them a distant relationship to their own body and sexuality – and this is not acceptable to anyone.
    Frida Nøddebo Nyrup obviously has the same experience and therefore she has written a book for kindergarten- and school children, where you follow the girl Elba in an exciting story that explores the developing sexuality of children. The children also learn to understand each other’s bodies, anatomy and boundaries and they get help to understand the societal norms we have around sex, sexual curiosity and the difference between adult and child sexuality. Here, it is worth mentioning that precisely this distinction between adult and child sexuality IS there – and it is marked – but often the two are equated. This may be the reason why many adults still bend their toes and are confused when children play doctor games in the pillow room or rock back and forth on a sofa back in preschool class.
    The book begins with a preface, where the author encourages you as a professional / adult to talk with children about sexuality on several different levels via a dialogue circle, which illustrates ways in which you can talk with children about sexuality – this is elaborated in the postscript of the book. The preface is followed by a story about the child Elba, who becomes curious about her vulva, and how you can get nice feelings inside of it by cuddling with a feather or pouring sand on it, which Elba does in the company of her friend from the daycare institution. Along the way, Elba’s parents contribute with an anatomy book, and the educator Anton supplements by helping the children how to delimitate and how to listen to each other.
    All chapters in the book are followed by questions for inspiration, and for the slightly older children the language is easy to read, so they can read the book themselves and possibly answer in writing. Here I am tempted to mention the current debate about primary school sex education, where teachers express that they feel ill equipped for the task of sex education – here “Elba’s Little ABC For Sex Education” can be an important contribution to the talk about boundaries, (differences on) the body and what feels nice. In other words, the book has a great didactic potential, and is for both kindergarten- and school-teachers a useful tool in a conversation, which can be quite difficult.
    The illustrations in the book are quite fine, and the anatomy part is very authentic. A nice detail is the teddy bear turtle, Sheldon, which as a cozy and recognizable element, accompanies Elba’s adventures. Some might call it inappropriate that it is Elba’s father who at some point holds a mirror, so Elba can see her vulva. However, I parry with a question / perspective of equality in mind: why don´t we feel that the father can talk with Elba about the anatomy of the body, as well as the mother can?
    In the postscript, the reader / adult is invited to a historical outline of the view on children’s sexuality – here one suddenly better understands why sexuality can still be difficult to talk about, and also the reasons why our educators sometimes experience cross pressure between their professional knowledge and society’s views on children’s sexuality. In the postscript, a better understanding is also gained of the development of sexuality, and how and why prohibitions, humiliations and taboos of sexuality in childhood can inhibit (not to say destroy) adult sexuality.
    A funny little detail in the postscript are the little stories about the view on children’s sexuality elsewhere in the world. Those stories contribute to my assumption that our view on children’s sexuality has its origins in some discursive and normative understandings of sexuality, which this book tries to break away from, using an invitation to dialogue about the natural and completely normal aspect of children’s sexual curiosity. Thank you Frida – it will be a fixed part of the curriculum in the future.

  2. Jørgen Nancke – Teacher

    Have you learned about children’s penises and vulvas?
    I met author, psychologist and associate professor at the UCL, Denmark, Frida Nøddebo Nyrup at a Book Meeting, where she presented me with her book “Elba’s Little ABC of Sex Education”. I even got a smile and a signed copy. As a student teacher, and driving on my last year, I have a keen interest, preparing for my future life of teaching in primary school. The book was tossed in the bag and stayed there until recently, when I cleaned up my little office, and found it again.
    I am really quite open-minded and in favor of a natural development, curiosity and the fact that children must have space to accommodate life, each other and not least themselves – or so I thought at least… In reality, I probably felt more like those who just looked at the headline of this review…“Dad, won’t you rub my vulva – I think that would be lovely”, the little girl Elba asks her father while they are sitting on the couch – nicely illustrated with a dress pulled up. I felt completely wrong. The red light flashed in my head and I had a “put the book away before anyone sees you with that” reaction, while I was tempted to hold both hands over my head, waiting for a “Freeeze!” from a heavily armed swat team leader dressed in black, while a small bright red spot danced on my forehead.
    My wife, however, reminded me, that one of our daughters rubbed herself against our coffee table legs, when she was about a year old, lying on the play rug. As the father of six children, I have seen those kind of things quite a few times, and fortunately I do not remember that we have scolded – at most we have ignored it. “It’s okay for you to do that kind of thing, but do it in your room,” this was what we said to them when they grew up – around the same age as Elba. We did it that way, so we wouldn’t have to go further into it – into the dangerous area of vulgar/ugly words lurking. The media has clearly influenced us, I can sense.
    Later, my eldest daughter found a boyfriend. We were out driving, and inspired by the radio, discussing young people’s online sex movies, sex addiction, etc., I mentioned that she should be able to say no, and that she should remember, that no one is allowed to force her into something. “Don’t worry dad, I take care, but it’s nice and I’m getting an orgasm too.” I was wildly shocked, even though I consider myself as a modern, moderately trendy and hip dad.
    Here I would like to point out that the book helps children in terms of learning to say no, and not least listening and making sure that one’s counterpart also likes to participate. A learning that our society really needs.
    My own teenage years were different, no movies, no internet… I had a discreet ring binder lying under my bed, the one with clear plastic pockets containing girls from the slightly daring colored magazines – only wearing panties. “Laila likes to go for long walks on the beach, and would like to be a veterinary secretary on a little island…” after all, it was quite exotic. There were some nice moments below the orange architect lamp, while my parents played “President” with their card club in the living room, to the sound of the cassette tape with sad sailor songs. I’m sure my vacuuming mom knew about it – but no one said anything – it was not forbidden…
    Frida Nøddebo Nyrup’s book is beautifully illustrated, beautiful drawings that show everything with text that matches. It was hard for me to get through it, but I managed it, despite my inner conflicts with the topic of children’s sexuality. However, the second part of the book solved it all.
    Frida Nøddebo Nyrup uses fx the image, that if you as a parent are anxious in a thunderstorm, well then the children will probably also be anxious in those situations. From this it can be deduced that if children get the experience that things with their bodies are forbidden or dirty, then there will be a risk that it can be passed on to adulthood. If we were only donors and birth machines, then this might not matter, but we are not, sex is associated with pleasure, for yourself and for others. Sexuality in children is not something, we can avoid. The question is just: “How can we talk about it?”
    With this book Frida Nøddebo Nyrup touches upon the ignorance, the conflict shyness and the touch anxiety that I and so many other people experience dealing with this topic. “Someone must take the lead” when something needs to change, and Frida Nøddebo Nyrup does.

  3. Else Olsen

    Thanks to Frida Nyrup for speaking on behalf of the children and helping us “old people” to understand how we can help our children to have the best relationship with their own sexuality, so that they can have the best start in their sexual life. ❤️ If I were a book reviewer, I would give the book 5 hearts out of 5 possible … ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    (Else Olesen – Specialist in disease and sexuality and dealer of sexual aids: (Else O Shop), teacher, lecturer. In addition, part of the Sexological Center AUH).

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