Consent Storytime: Easy as ABC

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written by Katey Howes

Consent Storytime

When we hear the word “consent,” we often think about dating and romantic relationships, but consent doesn’t start — or end — there. 

Consent is centered around two basic ideas. One: that each person has the right to make their own decisions about their own body. And two: that we all respect one another’s decisions.

Healthy relationships of all types — with friends, teachers, parents, siblings — are founded on this mutual respect. We can begin teaching that respect to young children with books that model the ABCs of Respect: Autonomy, Boundaries, and Consent

Using a mix of stories written specifically to educate with books made to entertain (while still reinforcing these important themes) is a great way to build key skills for safe and healthy relationships. Pick one or more from each letter to curate a Consent Storytime experience that’s right for your family, class, or group.  

Children’s Books About Consent

A is for Autonomy: These books carry the message that your body is your own.

 


Little Red Henry
B
y Linda Urban
Ilustrated
 by Madeline Valentine
Penguin Random House 2015
Amazon
Bookshop

 


We Listen To Our Bodies
By Lydia Bowers
Illustrated by Isabel Muñoz
Free Spirit Publishing 2021
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Miles is the Boss of His Body
By Samantha Kutzman Counter and Abbie Schiller
The Mother Company 2014
Amazon
Bookshop

 


My Body! What I Say Goes!
By Jayneen Sanders
Illustrated by Anna Hancock
Educate to Empower Publishing 2016
Amazon
Bookshop

 

B is for Boundaries: These books teach that it’s ok to set limits, speak up, and say no.


Don’t Touch My Hair!
By Sharee Miller
Little, Brown BFYR 2018
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Rissy No Kissies
By Katey Howes
Illustrated by Jess Engle
Carolrhoda 2021
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Leave Me Alone
By Vera Brosgol
Roaring Brook Press 2016
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Hug?
By Charlene Chua
Kids Can Press 2020
Amazon
Bookshop

 

C is for Consent: These books reinforce that we ask and we listen before touching others.

 


Can I Give You A Squish?
By Emily Neilson
Dial Books 2020
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Benny Doesn’t Like To Be Hugged
By Zetta Elliot
Illustrated by Purple Wong
CreateSpace 2017
Amazon

 


Don’t Hug Doug (He Doesn’t Like It)
By Carrie Finison
Illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Putnam 2021
Amazon
Bookshop

 


Will Ladybug Hug?
By Hilary Leung
Cartwheel Books 2018
Amazon
Bookshop

 

About Katey Howes

Katey Howes head shot

Katey Howes is the author of Rissy No Kissies, which Kirkus calls …an artistic gem for consent discussions, sensory-processing contexts, and anyone who champions children’s agency and bodily autonomy.”  Her earlier books include Be A Maker, which was named the #1 Makerspace Read Aloud of 2019, and Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher Deluxe, a highly-rated girl-powered #STEM picture book. A former physical therapist, current mom of three ravenous readers, and life-long geek, Katey loves combining fact and fiction, fun and learning through her books and blog posts. Visit her website www.kateyhowes.com for plenty of printable lesson plans and activities, or follow her on Twitter or Instagram @kidlitlove to learn more. 

Note from Melissa:
Thank you so much, Katey! Readers, you will LOVE Katey’s new book, Rissy No Kissies. It’s exceptionally written and SO important for ALL children to understand that a person (or bird) gets to decide how to show and receive affection and love — whether or not they are okay with physical touches like hugs and kisses. Follow along on Instagram where I’ll be posting a giveaway of Rissy No Kissies!

12 picture books for kids about consent

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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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