Family Planning Queensland
Age guide - 3 to 8 years
Awards - Winner of the 2007 Child Protection Week Award for an Education Initiative
Often, parents simply don't know where to start when trying to introduce the subject of self-protection from sexual abuse to their children. We all want our kids to be safe - but how should we teach them about this scary subject? Parents can find themselves mistakenly avoiding the issue, simply because they don't know how to handle it - and this is where Everyone's Got a Bottom, by Queensland author Tess Rowley, comes in.
Not just a children's book, Everyone's Got a Bottom acts as a teaching aid on two distinct levels. First, with a friendly children's picture-book story that gently ventures into the topic of personal protection. The story is followed by an excellent parent reference guide at the back that assists parents and carer givers on how to effectively educate their children about their bodies - and how to keep them safe.
A big, bright, colourful book, children are immediately drawn to the gorgeous illustrations (by the talented artist Jodi Edwards), as well as the engaging story about siblings Ben, Jack and Emma, who are learning all about their bodies. Proper anatomical body names are used throughout the story, and although this can sometimes be a little confronting for parents, it enables children to identify which areas of their bodies are actually their "private parts" (which includes their mouths).
Everyone's Got a Bottom sets about equipping children with a solid set of rules about touching - that the wrong kind of touching is not okay. It gives them simple courses of action that they can apply to a range of situations. Children are taught that they shouldn't agree to keep secrets about the wrong kind of touching, and to tell a trusted adult - all done on a level that young children can identify with and understand.
The last two pages of the book provide a comprehensive resource section for parents and care givers, explaining in detail the facts of child sexual abuse. It is explained that sex-offenders are most often known to the child, rather than it being a case of "stranger danger", and expansively covers different types of abuse - and how to help prevent it. There is a list of indicators, or warning signs, to help parents identify if their child may be experiencing sexually abuse, and gives guidance on how to handle it if a child does tell you that they are being abused.
This excellent children's publication is a collaboration of Family Planning Queensland, writer Tess Rowley, illustrator Jodi Edwards and experts from the early childhood and child protection sectors, so the information is given comes from a source that you know you can trust.
Everyone's Got a Bottom helps parents and carers to teach their kids how to safe-guard their own bodies, and as such, is a valuable addition to any children's book collection.
Everyone's Got a Bottom is produced and available from Family Planning Queensland. It's priced at $16.00 plus $5 postage.
To buy a copy online, visit Family Planning Queensland by clicking here.
Tess Rowley is a Queensland author and educator who has worked in child abuse prevention for over 20 years. She has written children's books on personal safety, self esteem, children with a father in prison and children who have experienced domestic violence. Tess also writes humorous poetry and songs. Rolf Harris used her work on his UK children's television show and sang her I am an Aussie Mossie on ABC television.
Jodi Edwards graduated from Griffith University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in Illustration. Jodi has won numerous state and national awards for her corporate design work and creative illustrations during her eight years working with Creative Plantation. In October 2007 Jodi won silver awards in both the illustration and design categories at the BAD (Brisbane Advertising and Design) Awards presentation for her work on Everyone's got a bottom.