Turner’s picture book encourages parents and children to keep an open dialogue about preventing sexual abuse.
The author shows examples of inappropriate interactions between adults and children and emphasizes that parent-child communication is vital for keeping children safe. In fact, the refrain of the text is: “You can tell me.” Turner (Hey Ugly, 2015) includes a “Dear Responsible Adult” letter explaining the ways the book can be used as a tool for parents to protect their children while broaching sensitive topics. Other interactive elements include instructions for parent and child to “interlock” pinkies symbolizing commitment and a tear-out “Pinky Promise” certificate for parent and child to sign. Resource pages include hotlines, the author’s social media accounts, and suggested hashtags. Also featured are several topically relevant poems by the author. Richburg’s illustrations show people of various ages and ethnicities. The bold, saturated hues and graphic-novel–style images provide concrete context. For example, where the text reads, “If someone asks you to keep a bad secret, you can tell me,” the accompanying illustration depicts an adult embracing a visibly uncomfortable child and a bubble encasing the words, “Remember what we talked about.” Using simple language and pictures kids can relate to, Turner tackles a challenging subject. This read will undoubtedly incite necessary discussion.
A helpful resource that approachably addresses a difficult topic.