Reviews /

It Isn’t Rude to be Nude

Authored by Rosie Haine
Published by Tate Publishing

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It Isn’t Rude to be Nude: When this first arrived, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, and I admit to having mixed feelings about the book as a parent and have sought some assistance from colleagues in understanding the place of this book within a school setting.

As a parent, I feel this is a provocative and important book. Both of my children will study and begin going through the stages of puberty and RSE in the summer term, and I feel this book could be a great accompaniment to this topic. I will keep it for them to browse through in their own time, and I will try not to influence their thoughts on the topic, the images or the text. I think a certain maturity may be needed to fully appreciate what I feel this book aims. I will be on hand to have discussions with them when they feel they need or want them. A certain sense of privacy may be welcome when reading this book. I realise this may differ from other parenting styles out there, but we have always been rather conservative when it comes to nudity in our home.

At one point, and this has been mentioned in several online reviews of the book, higher importance seems to be placed on female parts over the male. “Willies are not silly. (Ok, maybe just a little bit.) Those with vulvas should be proud.” Perhaps this was the author’s intention, as a female, to exert a sense of female power, but it seemed more of a trivialization of male body parts. A book aiming to celebrate the body in all its shapes and forms should perhaps stick to using correct terminology throughout.

In speaking with colleagues in a Year 6 class, we all felt this would be welcome but only after those initial conversations about body parts and body shaming. We are all different, and we try to ensure our differences are celebrated, and we all thought this book did just that. Within the art of the book are people of all ages, backgrounds, skin colour, and this emphasises just how different bodies are but embraces the similarities as well- we all have bums and nipples. We could all appreciate the book’s artistic style and felt that children would enjoy reading and understanding the images.

Perhaps we do need to celebrate the human form more, and while it may not be rude to be nude, we still need to have those important conversations with our children about appropriateness and respect when it comes to their bodies.

This book is on the Klaus Flugge Longlist 2021