Book Review “The Bearable Beast”

Rachael CrowBook Reviews, Musings

The author of this book contacted me- the email header was “Valuable menstruation communication tool”- her email went on to say-

Hello my name is Brooke Friswold and I am the author of a children’s book that I feel could be very beneficial to your workshop. The book takes a metaphorical instead of a literal approach to the topic of menstruation and is intended for younger ages as a means to introduce the topic in a more accessible, less clinical manner. The period is personified as a non threatening beast character intended to add a visual component to the discussion. I feel this book is endlessly valuable in removing the stigma around period discussions and beginning the discussions earlier in life.

The link of the book can be found here:

Let me know if you are interested in a copy and I can donate one to your workshops. Thanks for your time!


And so the book arrived…and after reading it i was speechless!

As someone who promotes positive menstruation…using a metaphor of a beast as a girls period is mind boggling!

And it just got worse…pictures of beasts foot prints all over the bedroom (her blood?), girls using pads as shields- armoring them against the beast! oh my!

I let some of the mothers in my group read the book…comments were “oh no!” “It’s confusing” “at best it could be used for discussion- so why do you think this woman refers to your moontime as a beast?” “I dont want a girl to think about this beast that sneaks up on them and makes them feel bad.

My own children- girl age 7 and son age 4, had different views- my daughter found it very confusing and my son thought it was hilarious- but then boys like beasties!

Looking at the book in an educational context, what baffles me is the use of metaphor for such young children- I’m presume by the language and drawings its probably aimed at 4-7 yr olds?

A quote from “While preschoolers understood the literal physical references, they did not understand the metaphorical psychological references. … Asch and Nerlove observed that only between the ages of seven and ten did children begin to understand the psychological meanings of these descriptions

So young children just don’t get metaphors?

Back to the content-  the beast brings pain, makes you feel strange, she will ‘let you know when shes coming” …but no real explanation of anything! Ok, i know, it ‘means to introduce the topic in a more accessible, less clinical manner‘ but no, no, no… young girls want facts, they want to understand EXACTLY what to expect, they are curious, intelligent and I for one want to teach them the intelligence and power of their bodies! The beauty of their cyclic nature, the wisdom of their moon time, the sacredness of their moontime…and no, there’s no beasts in moontime. Sorry Brooke, but this book isn’t getting any recommendations from me.