This book list has been prepared with young children in mind. Some of the books are suitable for parents to use with their children and others are more appropriate for Early Childhood Centre settings. The comments are offered as a guide only.
Briggs, F. & Hawkins, R. (1997). Child Protection: a guide for teachers and childcare professionals. Australia, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
This is a standard text book offering professional advice across a range of abuse scenarios.
Young New Zealanders’ Foundation. Amazing ME. DVD and work books. Available free from www.youngnz.org.nz
A life skills programme for children aged 2 to 5 years. It aims to give young children the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to seek help and keep themselves safe.
Harris, R. & Emberley, M (2006). Let’s Talk. About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends. UK Walker Books Ltd ISBN-13: 978-0744540857
This should be a teacher only resource in early childhood centres. Young children ask so many questions about their bodies and how they were made. With lively language, engaging art and clear, accurate information, this book answers those perfectly normal questions and will help even pre-school children feel proud and comfortable about their own bodies.
Frederico J. (2008). Some parts are not for sharing. USA, OK: Tate Publishing
Suitable for babies and toddlers six months and up. Includes a free audio download of the book. Attractive cartoon presentation.
Hansen D. (2007). Those are my private parts. USA, CA: Empowerment Productions
Written through the eyes of a child in child-friendly, easy to understand language, this is a read-aloud rhyme book illustrated by a four-year-old. This book is good for 3 to 5s, but can be used to open conversations with older children, too.
King Z. & King K. (2010). I said No! USA, CA: Boulden Publishing
Partly written by a child, this book uses a direct approach that does not dumb down the issues. It is suitable for 4s and over and uses the red flag, green flag approach. It offers children ways to deal with difficult situations and feelings.
Nelson M. (1987). What’s wrong with bottoms? NZ: Random House
This book is warm and supportive in dealing with sexual abuse. It would be a good book to use with siblings undert five.
Saltz S. & Cravath L. (2005). Amazing you. New York: Puffin
This is a first guide to body awareness for under fives. It is detailed in anatomical details and reproduction. It could be used with children up to 7.
Spelman, C. (1997). Your body belongs to you. Chicago: Whitman & Co.
This book contains very appropriate messages about good and bad touching for under fives. It is assertive without being frightening.
Girard, L. (1984). My body is private. Chicago: Whitman & Co.
Suitable for older children (5 to 8s) and written in direct and accurate language, this book deals with good and inappropriate touch.
Patterson, S. & Feldman, J. (2004). Nono the little seal. Australia: St Luke’s Resources.
This is a story about sexual abuse and how to deal with being asked to keep a secret. It encourages open communication with families and encourages children to have the confidence to say know. Suit
Moore-Mallinos, J & Fabrega, M (2005). Do You Have a Secret? New York: Barrons. ISBN-13 978-0-7641-3170-7
Every child likes secrets, and many secrets are fun to keep–for instance, a surprise birthday gift for Mum, or a secret handshake with a young friend. But sometimes, children have secrets that make them feel bad, and these secrets are best shared with their parents, or with some trusted older person. A child who is bullied might be inclined to keep it secret, but it’s always best to tell parents about it. Or children who are touched intimately and improperly by an older person will soon feel better if they reveal the secret to parents. It is disappointing that this book is not clearer for a child to understand what bad touch is – however if it is read with parents or teachers this can be clarified.
Sanders, J (2015). Body Safety Education: A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse. Australia, Victoria: E2E Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9871860-8-9
This is a great book for parents wanting to educate protect kids from sexual abuse. It is a step-by-step guide on how to protect children from sexual abuse through personal Body Safety Education. This guide contains simple, practical and age-appropriate ideas, as well as important information on how abusers groom and signs a child may be being sexually abused. It is not a children’s book – but it has lots of activities for parents and children to do together.
Sanders, J & Smith C (2015). Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept. Australia, Victoria: Upload Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9871860-1-0
A beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping children safe from inappropriate touch in a way that is neither frightening nor confronting? The notes to the reader and discussion questions at the back of the book support both the reader and the child when discussing the story. Suitable for children aged 4 to 9 years.
Harris, R. & Westcott, M. (2011). Who Has What?: All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies. USA, Mass: Candlewick Press. ISBN 978-0-7636-2931-1
A simple story following Nellie and Gus on a family outing to the beach. Humorous illustrations, conversations between the siblings, and a clear text all reassure young kids that whether they have a girl’s body or a boy’s, their bodies are perfectly normal, healthy, and wonderful. This book does not enter into sexual abuse issues or protection, however, using this book would be a way to let children know that it is OK to talk about their bodies. This is a first step in protective education. Suitable for 3 to 6 years.
Sanders J & Zamazing C (2015). No Means No. Australia, Victoria: Upload Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-925089-22-6
Teaching children about personal boundaries, respect and consent; empowering kids by respecting their choices and their right to say, ‘No!’ ‘No Means No!’ is a children’s picture book about an empowered little girl who has a very strong and clear voice in all issues, especially those relating to her body and personal boundaries. This book can be read to children from 3 to 9 years. It is a springboard for discussions regarding children’s choices and their rights.
Freeman, L. (1982). It’s my body. Parenting Press: Washington, USA.
This is a very basic book for young children, dealing with good and bad touch.
Ledwon, P. & Mets, M. (2006). Mia’s Secret. Tundra Books: Canada.
This is a very attractive book about the dynamics of child abuse. A young girl who is forced to keep a secret and how she finds courage to tell her mum. HOWEVER: it would be very unclear to a young child what the secret is about. The book gives adults a good insight into why children find it hard to disclose abuse, but is of very little value in terms of sexual abuse education.
Reading, N. (2004). Rosy and Jack. St. Luke’s Innovative Resources: Australia.
This book is suitable for 4s to 7s. It carries some valuable messages and includes a few activities to do with feelings. However, the assumption that children will find sexual abuse frightening and that children will not enjoy being touched is a dangerous one.
Kehoe, P. (1987). Something happened and I’m scared to tell. Parenting Press Inc: Washington, USA.
This book provides encouragement for an abused child to talk to someone safe. It helps to shift the blame from the victim to the perpetrator. Although the book is monochrome, the illustrations are attractive and the main character could be a boy or a girl. Suitable for 4 to 7s.