Respect by Rachel Brian

cover image

Wren and Rook, 2020. ISBN: 9781526362216. hbk., 54pp.
(Age: 5-12) Highly recommended. Subtitled, Consent, boundaries and being in charge of YOU, this little volume of humorous illustrations and helpful information is sure to be a winner in any library, classroom or home. Right from the front cover, where a stick figure wearing a crown, declares "I'm the ruler of my own body" to the Help! section at the back of the book, Rachel Brian has produced a fabulous and very timely self-help book that clearly shows readers many examples of just what consent means.
The quirky illustrations are even part of the "What's inside" (Contents Page) and readers know right from the start that they will learn: "What's consent?" "Ways to set a boundary", "How to support your friends", "Do you get to change your mind?" "Is getting hurt by people/badgers OK?" and "What makes a friendship healthy".
I particularly liked the section titled "Does someone's outfit tell you if they consent" where a figure is dressed in a swimsuit, but has no intention of going swimming. The advice is "Don't assume you know why someone is dressed in a particular way". Another section that caught my eye was the mini comic on tickling, when one friend did not want to be tickled and eventually his friend thought of something else fun to do.
This is an engaging and very clever way of bringing a very serious topic out into the open and giving readers strategies for setting boundaries. There is a trailer from Blue Seat Studios on Vimeo.
Pat Pledger