An essential guide to all things menstruation-related, Welcome to Your Period is the perfect starter manual for confronting the coming-of-age adventure of beginning menstruation. Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang give youth the answers to hundreds of questions someone with a uterus may be wondering when they begin puberty in this vibrant, inclusive dive into the facts of life. 

The book offers unflinching honesty, hilarious fire-side like anecdotes from many perspectives, and vibrant illustrations from the talented illustrator Jennifer Lantham. 

Unlike informational books about reproductive systems from decades past, Welcome to Your Period is for everyone with a uterus, explaining to cis and trans youth alike everything they could ever want to know about their period. The tone of the handbook strikes a comfortable balance between empowerment and laid-back fun. 

The guide leaves nothing out, including information about period poops, what to do when your hygiene products leak onto your clothes, how to look at one’s vulva, and plenty of tips about both birth control and hygiene products. It answers the questions that plague most youth with anxiety while encouraging adolescents to be proud of their bodies. Calling people who experience menstruation “period bosses,” the guide encourages youth to help each other out when periods cause challenges and talk openly about their needs.  

Welcome to Your Period’s real magic is in its guidance on the social aspects of having a period in addition to the physical changes. This guide covers everything from talking to parents, teachers, coaches and friends to understanding gender dysphoria and period poverty. Stynes and Dr. Kang encourage youth to have empathy and respect for people, no matter how they choose to handle their period or what their cultural norms around menstruation happen to include.  

The full-color illustrations hide nothing, treating all sorts of human forms and bodies as beautiful and intellectually stimulating. Diagrams of reproductive organs and illustrative how-to-guides about various hygiene products help ensure that youth who read this book will know what to do and where things are when they experience their period. 

Jennifer Latham’s illustrations are light and giddy, slightly textured, with clean, curved line work and unmistakable stylization that sets Lantham apart. The imagery is both contemporary and nostalgic, with groovy color palettes and patterns. The illustrations are welcoming to everyone, with characters of all sizes, shapes, skin types, hair and gender presentations. One section explains that not everyone who is assigned female at birth (AFAB) identifies as a girl or woman, and trans-positive and trans-inclusive vocabulary is part of the period vocab section too. 

Welcome to Your Period is the counsel I wish I had when I was reaching the relevant age. It is by far more empowering, comprehensive and inclusive than any book about menstruation that I read growing up. The dynamic wit and candid period stories included with the information reassure readers that no matter how dire their period-related emergency or disaster is, someone has already survived the same situation. It assures youth, whether they are starting their period earlier, along with, or later than their peers, that they will survive and thrive through this significant change in their life.

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