Thursday 20 January 2022

Boss of Your Own Body

Boss of Your Own Body by Byll and Beth Stephen, illustrated by Simon Howe (ABC Books) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9780733341724

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

There are many things that young children cannot control: their siblings, their dinner menu, their bedtime … the list goes on. But they ‘ARE the boss of one thing’, and that’s their own body. They can make their ‘feet run fast’, give their ‘uncle a kiss’ and high-five a friend. It doesn’t mean that kids can ignore their parents or refuse to see the doctor – but it does mean that they can decide what their body does at any point in time.

Performing as the award-winning children’s music group the Teeny Tiny Stevies, Byll and Beth Stephen know how to communicate with kids at their level. In this debut picture book, they utilise rhyme and repetition to reinforce the important message that each person is responsible for their own body, and they must let other people ‘be themselves’. Simple language and familiar situations ensure that kids aged three and over will be drawn to the book again and again.

Simon Howe’s charming illustrations exude pure joy thanks to the wealth of rich colours and smiling faces. Reflecting an inclusive attitude, his characters encompass littlies and older kids, different skin, and hair colours, as well as a child with a disability – so every reader will find a figure to which they can relate.

An empowering story for all children, Boss of Your Own Body gently guides youngsters towards the ideas of self-determination and respect for others. It melds truth and humour to make learning fun.

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