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Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite
Teach children about protecting themselves in an age-appropriate way! In Body Safety with Ollie: My Body, My Rules written by Lisa Jay and illustrated by Dilka Madushani, Ollie is a cute and fun-loving child here to help other kids learn how to set boundaries for their bodies. In this story, we learn that it is okay to say yes and no politely to friendly touches from those we know such as a handshake, cuddle, or kiss on the cheek. However, it is not okay for anyone to touch private places, and if someone tries, it’s important to tell an adult. By the end, we have explored when to say yes and no to touching in a way that helps children feel empowered and gives them a positive view of their bodies and voice. It closes with a guide for adults on how to help children understand rules for appropriate and inappropriate touching.
Lisa Jay and Dilka Madushani artfully create a story that will educate children about body safety in a way that will leave them feeling confident. The illustrations in Body Safety with Ollie are colorful, child-like, and fun, while still emphasizing that it is not okay to be touched when you do not wish to be. What I loved most was how it helps children feel good about their ability to say no and does so in a way that is encouraging rather than scary. It is at an appropriate reading level for beginner readers to enjoy on their own, but I believe it would be best as an addition to schools, daycares, local libraries, and other places helping children grow in their education. For those wishing to gauge the content of the illustrations, we see Ollie, fully clothed, holding out her hands to stop other children as they reach for her without consent, and we also see Ollie in the bathtub and on the toilet with private parts covered up as she explains that your body is your own space and certain parts of it should not be seen by others.