“I wanted my kids to stay healthy, so I had to give them accurate information,” says Robie H. Harris, whose training and deep interest in child development—and experience as a parent—made her realize how difficult but necessary it is to answer kids’ questions about sex. Consultations with other parents, kids, educators, doctors, psychologists, and scientists confirmed the critical need for books like It’s Perfectly Normal, It’s So Amazing!, and It’s Not The Stork!, all illustrated by Michael Emberley. Used as trusted resources in twenty-five countries around the world, these definitive books answer kids’ questions about sex and sexual health in a manner that assures even the most squeamish reader that “it’s perfectly normal.”
Robie H. Harris has used her expertise in child development in two picture books as well, also illustrated by Michael Emberley. About Happy Birth Day!, she says, “This is a story my children asked me to tell them over and over again when they were young. I think they loved hearing about all the things they could do on the day they were born.” Hi New Baby!, she says, was another book inspired by her own children. “When my older child met his new baby brother, he was full of feelings—excitement and disappointment when he finally saw the baby, surprise that the new baby was so tiny, upset when the baby cried, bored when the baby slept, angry that he was no longer the baby, and proud when he realized that he could make the baby stop crying.”
Robie H. Harris tackled another common bugaboo faced by parents and children in Don’t Forget To Come Back!, illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. The all-too-familiar tale wisely and wittily captures the many emotions children face when parents go out—and a babysitter comes in.
In addition to being an award-winning author, Robie H. Harris is also a popular speaker around the country on topics such as “Using Children’s Books to Talk about the Questions and Concerns of Children.” A graduate of Wheaton College and the Bank Street College of Education, Robie H. Harris has had plenty of hands-on experience working with kids, including as director of an early childhood after-school program and as a teacher. She also co-produced and directed Child’s Eye View, a film on the daily life of children in Hell’s Kitchen, and has numerous professional affiliations. The mother of two grown children—and the grandmother of two young children, for whom she loves to babysit—Robie H. Harris resides with her husband in New York City.