A Needed Conversation Starter With Kids (Book Review)

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is both necessary to shine a light to expose the sexual assault that goes on around us and to be proactive in protecting children from such abuse. Yet, much of the awareness and preventative steps suggested are directed toward informing adults. A genuine question needs to be asked, “If children are the target of some of this assault and abuse, then wouldn’t it make sense to inform and equip them on the matter?” Of course, it is important to be age-appropriate with the details. Still, because of the current climate of our culture, parents must begin to brace themselves for conversations with their children on these tough topics. To come alongside and help parents do that, Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb have written a unique children’s book, God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies.

Writing as a child sexual abuse victim and a board member of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), Justin Holcomb’s goal is to place a tool in parent’s and caregiver’s hands. This tool lays down the foundational biblical truth to children that God has made their bodies. Building on that, the book discusses an understanding of private body parts and touches that are appropriate and inappropriate (Parents, please note that the book does use formal terms for private body parts). The book teaches children private parts are not for sharing but if something does happen, what occurred between them and the adult is not meant to be kept a secret. They are also warned about those who may try to trick them into being alone with them. Children are instructed to say, “No!” and to ask for help immediately.

God Made All of Me takes a sensitive subject and provides helpful content in a conversational style. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb present this important information by sharing a story of a talk between parents and their two children, Kayla and David. The illustrations by Trish Mahoney further contribute to the engaging manner of the book. Serving as bookends of the story, the book opens up with a letter to parents or caregivers of children who will read the book or who will hear the book read. The book closes with a section on “9 Ways to Protect Your Children from Sexual Abuse”. Because the book is written for 2-to-8 year olds, parents will want to be thoughtful as they use anatomical language to describe private body parts. In the end, Justin Holcomb and Lindsey Holcomb provide parents as well as pastors, educators, Sunday School teachers, and children’s ministry directors with a tool for protecting children with truth from God’s Word. If you are a parent or caregiver of a young child, this book is a must read and a needed conversation starter!

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