book review: I said no! a kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private

By Zack and Kimberly King + Illustrated by Sue Rama

Tackles: Sexual abuse 

Age Range: 3-7 years

Genre: Picture Book 

This book tells the true story of the authors child named Zack that had an experience with sexual abuse at a sleepover. Zack and his mother use this book to talk about bodies, curiosity, private parts, red flags, bribes, threats, and more. This is a lengthy book that covers a lot of topics, gives scenarios, spaces for children to draw, and resources for parents and caregivers. It as a book that covers so much within the topic of sexual abuse, and teaches children to stand up for themselves and be honest when talking about their bodies. 

Zack uses imaginary sailors putting up red and green flags to talk about appropriate and inappropriate touches, people that can see privates (parents, doctors), people that cant (other kids, strangers), and good and bad situations. It also gives children the opportunity to answer questions, tell what they would do in scenarios, and come up with their own.

The animation style looks like children’s drawings, which makes sense because this book is a kid-to-kid guide. I think that this book being from a kids voice written for other kids is the best way to talk about this topic.  Children can sometimes be uncomfortable discussing topics like this with adults, and hearing it from a child’s perspective can make it more relatable for other children and can allow children to empower each other. 

I think that this book gives a great explanation on the topic of sexual abuse and really takes the time to look at all of the different parts of this tough topic. The animations are clear and bright and the word usage is appropriate for children. I think the length of this book may be a bit too long to read with a child in one sitting, especially a young child. I would start by reading a similar, shorter book on this topic that follows a story format rather than being more informational like this book is, and then expand by reading this book and using it to begin a conversation with your child. 

9 out of 10 little sailors

Buy it here.

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