'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 18 January 2018

Review: Miles is the Boss of His Body

Body autonomy and privacy are topics that are important to introduce to children from quite a young age, both for their own well being and safety as well as for their development of social awareness and respect of others around them.

As all parents can I'm sure attest, young children are not inbuilt with a respect for privacy or personal space.

Today is Miles' sixth birthday and he is very much looking forward to having a pizza dinner at home with his family, but from the moment he arrives home from school he is greeted with unwanted physical contact.
Pinched cheeks, noogies, too tight hugs, tickles, being lifted to the air and patted on the head until finally, when Miles has had enough, he yells at everyone to stop touching him.

While Miles understands that this contact comes from a place of affection, celebration and love, he wishes that everyone would respect that sometimes he does not want to be touched at all, even by those he loves best.

Miles' family respond to his frustrations with an apology and agreement that Miles is the boss of his body and therefore he can decide when, how and by whom he can be touched. Additionally, it is acknowledged that politeness and etiquette still need to be maintained and therefore a verbal greeting/farewell and a wave can substitute for unwanted hugs and kisses.

While children as young as three will gain understanding from the story, the colourful illustrations laid over a background of sepia toned photographs, interspersed with speech bubbles and comic style narration boxes, brings the appeal of this book up to older readers as well.

For more titles on this topic, see Terrific 10: Body Protection

Title: Miles is the Boss of His Body
Author: Samantha Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller
Illustrator: Valentina Ventimiglia
Publisher: The Mother Company, $25.95
Publication Date: 16 September 2014
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9780989407137
For ages: 3-9
Type: Picture Book