Sunday 21 June 2015

No Means No!

No Means No! by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Cherie Zamazing (UpLoad Publishing 2015)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN: 9781925089226

Reviewed by Jade Harmer

Sadly, we live in a society where sexual predators exist.
We can’t always be there to protect our children, but we are in a position to empower them to understand their rights with particular regards to their body, and to encourage them to speak up if they ever find themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

Jayneen Sanders, an experienced primary school teacher, counsellor, editor, author, publisher and mother, has recognised the need for resources that assist parents, carers, teachers and child welfare professionals in talking to children about such issues.

No Means No! follows the release of Sanders’ Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept (UpLoad Publishing 2013), illustrated by Craig Smith, which dealt with a little boy being touched inappropriately by a trusted caregiver and keeping it a secret.

No Means No! treads more lightly than its predecessor, but the message is still loud and clear. Cherie Zamazing’s illustrations create a bright, cheerful feel as Sanders manages to cover difficult issues in a non-confronting way, teaching children and caregivers about boundaries, respect and consent.
Sanders’ plucky central character knows how to say no.

For instance, she chooses not to kiss Auntie Jeanie, but to give her a high five. She chooses not to play tickling games with her cousin, but to play catch. And she chooses not to accept her mother’s offer of help to wash her private parts at bath time, but to do it herself.

Sanders’ character never comes across as rude or difficult, but rather assertive and confident. She never fails to speak up with regards to personal boundaries and this is consistently respected by the family members and friends she encounters.

The story is appropriately set at home and school, where young children spend much of their time. 

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