After childhood friends Dave Hartmann and Justin Sweeting both experienced painfully awkward chats with their own children about sex, the pair felt parents needed a book that provided a fresh and playful way to broach the topic.

Enter Dave and Justin’s new book, The Birds And The Bees And Giraffes The Drink Wee. This story takes a hilarious but real and super weird look into the world of animal sex – from penis fencing worms, to hippos that fire poo in each other’s faces and bees whose testicals explode – in the hope that kids will come to realise that not only is sex normal, but that human sex the most tame of it all!

“Unfortunately most books out there make the topic even more insanely uncomfortable. So we created, The Birds And The Bees And The Giraffes That Drink Wee to help change that,” explains author and father-of-two Dave Hartman.

“I have a 11 year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter and this book was inspired by the awkward ‘talk’ I had with my then eight-year-old a few years back. Like a lot of parents, I had been dreading the day that I had to have the talk, and my wife and I had long been trying to bump the responsibility on to each other,” continues Dave.

“Then one night at bedtime he caught me off guard and brought the topic up. It was as painfully awkward (for both of us) as I dreaded it would be. So much so that he finished the conversation with – “Dad please never do those things with mum again!”. 

“It was that moment that I really wished there had been something that could have helped open the conversation and make it far less awkward for both of us. And so came the idea to create a book that could help.”

Help is here. Parents can avoid having an awkward ‘sex talk’ with their child.

For parents out there who are dreading the ‘birds and bees’ chat with their children, Dave has this advice.

“Children respond to you. You set the tone. If you act awkward, then to them the whole topic will feel awkward. But if you are able to be conversational and natural with it (even ideally have a laugh or two or about it), then it will all feel far more natural and normal to them.”

And of course, having a copy of The Birds And The Bees And The Giraffes That Drink Wee on hand will help too.

“The book was written to act as the ultimate ice-breaker,” says Dave. “It’s been amazing to watch childrens response to it. They’re instantly captivated and in hysterics at the crazy animal stories. It sets the tone so well, and has them want to lean in and know more, rather than just desperately shut it down.”

Help normalise the topic of sex for kids by discovering all their weird and wild ways that other animals mate.

As for whether or not there’s a right age to have the sex talk with kids, Dave believes “every child is different and you need to assess when is right for them”.

But he does advise parents against leaving the chat too late.

“I would say that it’s wise to make sure that you are able to bring the conversation to them, before the internet and the school playground does. When picking your moment – listen carefully not just to them, but the conversation happening around them.”

This is the debut book from childhood friends and dads, Dave Hartmann and Justin Sweeting.

The Birds And The Bees And The Giraffes That Drink Wee is out now in major and independent bookshops across Australia, as well as online retailers.