Customer Review

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, warm, wise treatment of a very difficult topic., 28 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Right Touch: Read-Aloud Story to Help Prevent Child Sex Abuse (Jody Bergsma Collection) (Hardcover)
The book is a wee bit bigger than 8 1/2 by 11, a very good size for reading to a child. It is gorgeously and warmly illustrated by Jody Bergsma, a woman of great talent and much understanding of the child's eye.
This is a book for helping to prevent child sexual abuse. Sandy is an expert in this problem, and has done much work to help put an end to it. In this book she has done a very great service to a (hopefully) much wider audience.
There is a "note to parents and teachers" at the beginning of the book, which discusses the question of child sexual abuse in a succinct, knowing, and helpful manner, better than I've ever seen it dealt with.
Then the story. I really like the way that Sandy has chosen to present this difficult topic. The book describes a conversation between a loving mother and her son Jimmy, in which she gently and carefully raises the topic of "touching problems" and goes on from there. This must be a godsend for parents who might have difficulty in starting a conversation about something so intimate. They can "break the ice" by reading this book to their child, and then perhaps repeat the conversation with their own child for real. The converstion between Jimmy and his mother covers just about everything that a small child needs to know, in a very subtle, gentle, and wise way. Like when intimate touching is OK (doctor, diaper changing, parental tending to hurts, etc.). Like how to say NO to somebody. Like how sexual touching is really not that much different from bullying and playing tricks: it's bad, it's not your fault, and grownups can help you stop it.
There is great wisdom in this book. I see it especially in what Sandy has chosen to leave out. There are no graphic details, just phrases such as "touching you under your clothes". There is no need for more, since if things have gone that far they are already very wrong, and that's all that a small child has to know. There is no naming of body parts. There *is* a picture of ! a girl's body and a boy's body, but Sandy chose to leave out the labels and let parents choose the words that they are comfortable with.
I won't go much further in describing this book - you all should order it and see for yourself - but I will give one last word of praise for Jody Bergsma's illustration on the back cover: it's called "Garden of Children" and depicts children and animals expressing various emotions, in a big beautiful collage of faces. It's apparently used much by counsellors in helping very young people identify their feelings. My two young readers commented the most about that illustration. It's available as a poster, too, but I won't tell you how to order it. You have to buy Sandy's book to find out.
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4.9 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)
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A Customer