30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2013
I first saw this book read online through a YouTube video and found it to be excellent. I would recommend that you watch the video as well. It covers the subject matter of child sexual abuse very delicately and, in some ways, is a good way to show parents how a child may feel when they are going through a situation like this. With 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys being victimized by sexual abuse before their 18th birthdays, it's a serious subject that is simply being neglected. Parents that don't educate their children on their bodies, the need for respect and responsibility are more at risk. Parents that don't know the signs of a possible abuser, how an abused child may act (since they more often than not keep it a secret) are less likely to understand the risks and identify a situation that may be harmful for their child.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2015
This gorgeous book arrived in our mailbox on a Friday afternoon and was promptly read to my 4yo son. I had planned to write a review, but I didn't anticipate the response my son would have to the story, which made me even more determined to share my thoughts.
The author, Jayneen Sanders from Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept, gave some brilliant notes for the reader, in the first few pages. I gave it a quick scan and followed the first piece of advice, which was to talk about the cover. A little boy wearing a knight's helmet was a winner from the start with my little man, but he was quick to suggest that the little boy on the cover looked sad. Good, I thought, we're off to a good start.
Now both of my children have been raised with a variety of protective behaviours resources, and get quite excited when new resources arrive in the mail. Because of this I was a little vague with my intro about this book, not wanting my son to give me the pre-programmed responses, so I was very much taken aback as we read.
Before sharing his heart wrenching observation, allow me to share my thoughts. This book has such a beautiful, rich feel about it. Aesthetically, it is well bound, rich in colour with easy-read font. The illustrations are fabulous, setting both the scene and the mood as the story progressed on each page. The words, the flow of the story are easy to read, yet not so simplistic that it would be disregarded by an older, independent reader; there is a terrific balance.
The story captures the new reality for a little boy and his mother, whose situation in life has changed rather dramatically post-divorce. Lady Susan is now working in a grand house as a cleaner, and she is grateful for the flexibility and generosity of her employer, Lord Henry. Little Sir Alfred, our little hero of the moment, soon realises that Lord Henry isn't as safe and kind as people think, and he becomes physically ill with the weight of carrying the secret of being abused, and worry of what would happen to him and his mum, Lady Susan if he told his secret.
As I read this part to my son, he was adamant that little Sir Alfred needed to tell his secret, no matter what. Then we turned the page to where Sir Alfred tells his mummy his terrible secret, and my little man suddenly changed his tune and determinedly so. I was taken aback and asked him why he'd changed his position; we've always been really clear about secrets in our family, and this was not what I expected from him.
"Lady Susan has a tear, she's sad. Sir Alfred shouldn't tell her because she's sad and she'll lose her job and everything!"
So we talked about how that was never the responsibility of the child to worry about that stuff, and that it was okay for Lady Susan to cry, because it was a sad thing that happened to her little boy. It took a few moments, but he finally accepted it.
The illustrations in this book are brilliant, and opened up a conversation that I hadn't realised that I needed to have with my son. I should've, because that was me as a child, but I had thought that I'd covered that base sufficiently with my kids. It was a teachable moment, for both of us! I am immensely thankful for that moment, and for Jayneen Sanders and Craig Smith for giving it to us.
I think the best part of the story was that it showed that life did change for Sir Alfred and Lady Susan, as she had to change her career. In an ideal world, all child abusers would be banished and forfeit their assets, but the ultimate outcome was that a little boy was believed and felt safe when he spoke up and told his mum the truth. That is what we want, for our children to be safe, and to know that, should the worst happen, that they can come without hesitation and tell us.
I highly recommend this book, for every parent and for anyone working with children. I'll be ordering a few more copies to give to my son's daycare teachers as well.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
As a mother of a molested son (when he was 6), I found this book a great tool to open this subject to my youngest son now that he has turned 6. I also told my son that when his brother was 6, this man we trusted because he was 'so nice' threatened him in to not telling me (he said he would kill his mommy and his father had already died in an auto accident). I found out because my son couldn't urinate and after going to the E.R. my son was screaming, "Dan's going to kill you now that you know!" it took me 20 years as my son is now 26 as I am able to even talk about the hell we went through. I believe that all children should be read this book every month to check in and talk about this silent topic as I would never have guessed that my oldest child would have been a victim, it effects the entire family forever. Great job Jayneen, Thank you! Jori Nunes; 'Chocolate Flowers'
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2013
My complaint with the book is that I didn't like the fact that the mother was not concerned with her son's expression that he didn't want the king to take care of him anymore. She subsequently tells him that he can tell her anything and she will believe him. Okay, so then why did you dismiss his remarks about not wanting the king to take care of him? I guess this could be representative of an imperfect parent, but I did not like the message that her dismissal sent. I think the message of reporting incidents like this is made for the most part, but small things bugged me about this story. I do think it's incredibly important to read stories that involve inappropriate touching to children so that they get the message that it's NOT okay.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2013
"Some Secrets ........" Is a wonderful book and also a very important one. Most of us are familiar with the appalling incidence of child sexual abuse. "Some Secrets..." highlights the way children may be at risk: an abuser may not be a stranger - in most cases the abuser is known to the child and/or family. As a counsellor I have worked with many victims of sexual abuse when they were young; not one person, boy or girl, told their parents. This book identifies the power of the abuser and the fear experienced by the child but it does so in a gentle way.
While "Some Secrets....." deals with a serious topic, the clever text combined with Craig Smith's absolutely delightful illustrations, make this a beautiful book which I recommend highly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 2014
I really like this book. My 5 year old seems to be catching on to the theme. There is only one piece I felt the book could have not mentioned, the dad leaving the family and the mom having to work and not having money. I think it is a paragraph long, and honestly, the book would have been able to get the entire message without it. I understand that is reality for many of us these days, however, it just wasn't warranted nor in my opinion did it line up with the story. I feel it brought about a different focus, tsince it is the first pages of the book, the questions of Daddys leaving, over the main purpose.. secrets and body safety.