A comic-book handbook for young audiences about physical and emotional boundaries.
This small-but-mighty resource cleverly mimics popular early-reader series like Elephant & Piggie or Narwhal and Jelly, with heavy-duty binding and a jaunty cartoon feel. But instead of zany friendships, this text carefully takes children through consent, relationship dynamics, and what to do if you experience, cause, or witness harm. The unnamed characters are clothed stick figures with a variety of hairstyles and skin tones of different shades of gray. Early chapters include “You Rule,” about individual boundaries, and “Giving & Getting Consent,” while later ones focus on community and helping others. Brian skillfully balances kid-friendly scenarios (tickling, the gift of an unsuitable pet) with clear but gentle information about safety: a phone with text messages reading “send pics” and “wanna meet?”; a firm note that if a “picture shows someone under 18 without clothes on, it’s a crime.” The text also acknowledges that not all kids have the power to stand up to the adults in their lives: “It’s great when your family supports your choices. But if they don’t, you have a few options,” such as “reach[ing] out to supportive friends” or “think[ing] about what you’ll do differently as an adult.” The twin emphases on clear and direct communication and that it’s OK to change your mind are important messages effectively delivered.
A book to own and refer to, often. (Graphic nonfiction. 6-10)