Children's Books for April Child Abuse Prevention Month 2017

Contributed by Jennie Wintermote, MLS, Director of the Western District Resource Library

Talking about abuse prevention with young children is essential but often difficult, and even more so during a church worship service! Below are eight books that could serve as a children’s feature (or be adapted for use) at church. Please preview the books to determine what best fits your context and time frame. Not all books will be appropriate for all congregational settings. Be sure to encourage caregivers to continue the conversation with their children after church.

I Can Play It Safe. Feigh, Alison. (2008). Free Spirit Publishing.

Sharing safety rules through story form; a good choice for introducing a safe, holistic life for our kids.

God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies. Holcomb, Justin S. (2015). New Growth Press

Helping convey a message that God created all of our body parts good and none of them are shameful. The book highlights the differences between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others.
It’s MY Body: A Book to Teach Young Children How to Resist Uncomfortable Touch. Freeman, Lory. (1982). Parenting Press.

A short, simple book with basic
black-and-white pictures that helps celebrate our bodies and teaches about safe boundaries.
A Tale Worth Telling. Grossman, Linda Sky. (2002). Second Story Press. A rhyming story about a child who needs to tell about something that’s wrong and feels like he isn’t being listened to. The overall message is to remember that there are adults who care—keep telling until someone listens.

A Terrible Thing Happened. Holmes, Margaret. (2000). Magination Press.

When Sherman sees something terrible happen, it bothers him in a variety of ways until he meets someone who helps him talk about it. Could be a starting point to talk about the safe adults at church (and other safe adults) who are there to help kids talk about the hard things in life. A heavier title.

  Do You Have a Secret? / Tienes un Secreto?
Moore-Mallinos, Jennifer. (2005). Barron’s Educational Series

A shorter story that celebrates secrets while helping children determine when a secret is a good one (like a surprise birthday gift for Mom) and can be kept and when secrets are bad (a child who is being bullied or touched inappropriately) and need to shared. Available in English and Spanish.

Your Body Belongs to You. Spelman, Cornelia Maude. (1997). Albert Whitman & Company.

Fitting nicely with the idea of the Circle of Grace, this book helps children understand that a child’s body is his or her own and it’s okay to decline a friendly hug or kiss, even from someone they love.

I Can Be Safe: A First Look at Safety. Thomas, Pat. (2003). Barron’s Educational Series.

Read part or all of this story that covers many aspects of safety, from adults who help keep you safe to feelings that warn us of danger. (A longer option.)