Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of YOU
by Rachel Brian
Little, Brown and Company, 2020. 64 pages.
Review written January 28, 2021, from a library book
What a perfect idea! Rachel Brian, the creator of the viral short video Tea Consent has made this little graphic novel explanation of consent in a completely kid-friendly way.
It turns out you don’t have to talk about sex to explain that you are in charge of your own body.
The book begins by explaining boundaries. That different people may have different boundaries, and that you may have different boundaries for different people, and those boundaries may change. The cartoons show things like high-fiving, hugging, and waving. It covers things like tickling, tackling, and pinching. What may be fine for one person may not be fine for someone else.
They’ve thought of more issues about consent than I would have ever realized are there, and it’s all done in a child-friendly and empowering way. I like the page where they show that someone’s outfit does not tell you if they consent. It shows a kid dressed in a bathing suit standing by a pool. But after she stops some kids from pushing her in, she says she doesn’t plan to swim at all. She just likes wearing the bathing suit and is planning to wear it to dinner. (This is all done with speech bubbles.)
The book also covers finding who you can trust, earning trust, and listening when other people talk about their own boundaries.
I was going to say that I’m sad this book needs to exist, but once I think about it, I’m not sad. Why, it does even me good to be reminded that I’m in charge of my own body. And I love that kids are getting taught that even when they’re young.
[Hmm. Where should I put this review? I hadn’t made a category in Children’s Nonfiction for Current Issues. I think for now, it fits best with the books in The Arts.]
Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Childrens_Nonfiction/consent_for_kids.html
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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.
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