A list of books about bodily autonomy, privacy, and consent for young children has been asked for approximately a million times.
Finally this spring, I asked for suggestions on Instagram (you can see all the suggestions here) and started reading as many books from the library on these topics as I could.
If you’re looking for ways to talk about these important topics with your children, these books are a great place to start to open the conversation and help your child feel empowered to deal with tricky situations.
Of course, every family is going to have a different level of comfort and different feelings on these topics, so I always suggest that you read these books first so you’re ready for the kinds of questions that might come up after reading them!
Books about Bodily Autonomy and Consent
Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung
This cute board book shows Ladybug preparing to leave on a trip and she wants to hug her friends goodbye. Some of her friends are enthusiastic but Sheep prefers not to hug. At the end, they high-five instead! It’s a great way to talk about asking permission before touching someone and also a simple way to discuss alternatives to hugging.
Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Maude Spelman, illustrated by Teri Wiedner
This picture book is a very basic introduction to bodily autonomy with repeated phrases to say when someone wants to hug or kiss or touch you when you don’t want them to. It’s a perfect way to open the door about this topic in a non-scary way.
I Said No by Kimberly King and Zack King, illustrated by Sue Rama
This is a book written from a child’s point of view (based on a true experience) about privacy and how to deal with inappropriate or uncomfortable interactions with other children or adults. There are lots of parts in the book that allow you to stop and talk with your child about possibilities. This isn’t a complicated book, but it’s very well-done.
A Hug by Nicola Manton
This is a very sweet, beautifully illustrated book about how hugs can be really wonderful but it’s also okay to say no to a hug and how sometimes you don’t feel like giving or receiving a hug.
Do You Have a Secret? by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, illustrated by Marta Febrega
This book explains the differences between good secrets (a birthday present, a surprise party, etc) and a bad secret (someone hurting you or doing something wrong) and what to do if you have a bad secret. I know some families prefer different language (surprise v. secret for good things) so know that you may want to tweak the language as you read this with your child.
God Made All of Me by Justin Holcomb and Lindsay A Holcomb, illustrated by Trish Mahoney
This book talks about private parts (and briefly uses correct terminology about those part) and the difference between a surprise and a secret, as well as the difference between good touches and bad touches. This one also has a section at the back to help parents protect their child from sexual abuse.
Miles is the Boss of His Body by Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, illustrated by Abbie Schiller
On Miles’ birthday, he keeps getting hugged, tickled, tackled and squeezed. Finally, he’s fed up and he tells his family that HE is the boss of his body and he doesn’t want to be touched unless he says so.
Some Secrets Should Not Be Kept by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Craig Smith
In this story about Sir Alfred, a young knight who often stays with Lord Henry while his mother works. But when Lord Henry starts tickling him inappropriately, Sir Alfred feels terrible and doesn’t know how to tell this secret.
Let’s Talk about Body Boundaries by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Sarah Jennings
This is a great introduction to the idea of body boundaries (the 1700 five star reviews speak for themselves!). It has lots of discussion questions for parents, and engaging illustrations and isn’t over text heavy!
No Means No by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Cherie Zamazing
Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you don’t get to make your own boundaries, especially when it comes to your body. When a child says no to a hug or a kiss or tickling, it’s important to respect that and for children to know that they can stand up for themselves.
Consent (for kids) by Rachel Brian
More graphic novel than picture book, this is a great guide to consent and bodily autonomy that’s fun and engaging. It discusses boundaries, how to deal with uncomfortable situations, and how to practice consent on a daily basis.
Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
Doug doesn’t like hugs – he doesn’t like them when he’s coming or going or when he’s sad or proud or when it’s a celebration. For him, a high five is a better way to share his feelings and this book does a great job helping teach that people have different preferences about physical affection and how to ask what people want.
My Body; What I Say Goes! by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Anna Hancock
In a world where kids are told what to do all day long by parents and other adults, it’s a very important skill for kids to learn that sometimes they’ll need to say no to an adult and this book is a great way to teach body safety to children with a clear outline of skills, including correct anatomical names, safe and unsafe touching, secrets and surprises, and developing a safety network.
I Can Say No by Jenny Simmons, illustrated by Kristin Sorra
A child’s voice is one of their most important tools for standing up for themselves and protecting their mind and body. This book is a fun way to practice talking about the power of saying no and how it can be a superpower!
Personal Space Camp by Julia Cook, illustrated by Carrie Hartman
This book is a story about a child who is a space expert but struggles with the concept of PERSONAL space and how he learns to respect other people’s choices about their bodies.
We Listen to Our Bodies by Lydia Bowers, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz
Our bodies are good at giving us signals about how we’re feeling – if something is scary or exciting or fun or hard. It takes practice to pay attention to listening to our bodies and this book is a great way to help kids understand the signals their body is sending them.
Super Duper Safety School by Pattie Fitzgerald
If you’re looking for a way to teach about personal safety without scaring your child, this is the book for you. Not only is it filled with simple rules for safety with child-friendly text, it also includes a comprehensive guide for parents to help them reduce the risks their child faces.
Any other books you’d recommend about bodily autonomy? I’d love it if you shared them in the comments!