Lintball Leo can ease boys' concerns about adolescence and body changes

Monday, September 15, 2003

Every man has gone through puberty ---- zits, worrisome body developments and embarrassing physical responses, mood swings, body odor. Most guys who get through it tend to forget about it, and when their own sons begin to go through puberty, they are unprepared to talk about it in any depth.

Lintball Leo can serve as a surrogate dad for boys struggling with the changes of adolescence, making the caveat that boys should also talk with their dads, or in some cases pastor, to be sure the dad doesn't have a problem with what Leo discloses.

While the lintball character may seem contrived, and perhaps a little insulting to some older boys, the book is highly readable, with considerable information about male development that was simply not known ---- or discussed ---- two or three decades ago.

The importance of sleep is stressed, as are other topics, such as diet and exercise. Development of secondary sexual attributes ---- body hair and the male genitalia ---- are also discussed in a frank and non-judgmental manner. An outline of such changes, and the approximate age that they take place, is included.

At several points, Lintball Leo recommends Bible reading, keeping a journal, breathing exercises, and other ideas to help a guy keep an even keel as hormones and emotions rage.

The book, part of the Zonderkidz 2;52 (Luke 2:52) Soul Gear series, is geared to the young male, recommended for readers ages 8 through 12. However, the child-rearing skills of adults ---- including moms ---- might also be enhanced by reading it.

The author states that the questions are not "adult-made," but the actual questions asked by boys.

From shaving to sex to steroid use, the little fuzz ball states facts and offers guidance, with no holds barred.

Lintball Leo's Not-so-stupid Questions About Your Body; Dr. Walt Larimore with John Riddle; illustrated by Mike Phillips; 124 pages, paperback; $7.99; Zonderkidz.

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