The rise of the “children’s book for adults” genre has certainly been enjoyable in that it provided us a poignant yet comical new avenue for gift-giving. Remember in 2011 when no new parent was without a copy of Adam Mansbach and Richardo Cortés’ bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep?
But Jackie Prince and Liesje Kraai’s motivation for writing an adult children’s book spawned out of something larger than mere novelty. When they heard the CDC’s startling statistics about STIs (reports of STDs are the highest they’ve ever been, and still growing!) the two decided to get busy and spread STI awareness in the most accessible of ways.
Enter: Chloe Has Chlamydia, an illustrated children’s book for adults about a koala named Chloe who — you guessed it — catches chlamydia. (A topical aside: koalas are going through a chlamydia epidemic of their own.)
Chloe then makes it her mission to spread awareness about safe sex and chlamydia. It’s a coming of age story, informative in a non-judgmental way. Chloe Has Chlamydia addresses the stigma surrounding STIs and the feelings of shame, despair, and anxiety that can come with an STI diagnosis.
More importantly, the book reveals how so much misinformation and straight lack of knowledge there is concerning STIs. Chloe’s character arc and ultimate “redemption” is her learning about chlamydia – how it spreads, its symptoms, its treatment, how to talk about it with partners – Chloe then gets treatment and spreads her newfound knowledge to the rest of the world.
Truly, what better way to learn about safe sex and the dangers of STIs than through a bisexual, sex-positive, sex advocate who also happens to be an adorable koala? If you still aren’t convinced, consider that ten percent of the book’s profits go towards STI screenings at Planned Parenthood.