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It’s never too early to start the conversation about personal safety with young children, and picture books are a perfect tool for this!
To celebrate Children’s Book Week here in Australia, Bravehearts’ Director of Research, Carol Ronken, has compiled a list of recommended children’s books that parents and caregivers can use to introduce the topics of body ownership, personal safety, consent and protective behaviours to little ones.
Everyone’s Got a Bottom
Authored by Tess Rowley and illustrated by Jodi Edwards, this book is aimed at ages 3 to 8 and shares the story of Ben, along with his brother and sister, learning about their bodies and being safe. For anyone looking for ways to gently begin that conversation about personal safety, we highly recommend this book. The book includes incredibly important information for parents and caregivers inside the back cover.
Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept
One of the key issues we grapple with in personal safety is the issue of secrecy. This wonderful book (recommended for ages 3 to12), written by Jayneen Sanders and illustrated by Craig Smith, provides a gentle avenue for children to learn about their rights to speak out and be safe. It also includes a guide to help parents and caregivers discuss the book with their children.
Welcome to Consent: How to Say No, When to say Yes and Everything in Between
The issue of consent has recently been in the public eye. This recent book by Yumi Stynes and Dr Melissa Kang, is a wonderful guide for young people (recommended for ages 10 to 14) on understanding what consent is and how it works.
ABC of Body Safety and Consent
Written by Jayneen Sanders, this book also looks at the critical issue of consent, but for the younger audience (ages 4 to10), along with important personal safety messages of body ownership, boundaries, respect, safe and unsafe touches, warning signs, and secrets.
I Said No! a Kid-To-Kid Guide to Keeping Your Private Parts Private
Written by Zach and Kimberly King this book is about teaching children the concept of privacy and helps children develop healthy boundaries for their private parts. Aimed at ages 5 to 9, using child-friendly language and illustrations, it helps adults approach topics such as inappropriate touches, what to do if you feel unsafe and understanding feelings.
My Underpants Rule
Illustrated and created by Rod and Kate Power, this book for children aged 3 to 8 helps to empower children to understand “What’s under my pants belongs ONLY to ME!” Bright, lively, fun and engaging, it gently and effectively teaches children their ‘Underpants RULE!’
Ben and Becky book set
Developed by Bravehearts’ specialist psychologists and educators, this set of two picture books, ‘Ben and the Babysitter’ and ‘Becky and the Doctor’ can be used to explain the meaning of privacy, private parts and keeping safe to children aged 3 to 8 years.
Related content: Protecting Our Kids: Teaching Children About Personal Safety