Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to read a newly released children’s book; “A Secret Safe to Tell.” “A Secret Safe to Tell” is written by Naomi Hunter, illustrated by Karen Erasmus and published by publisher Jo Jo Publishing.
Hunter writes the heartbreaking story of a little girl who is sexually abused by a man she trusts. The reader is taken on the painful journey of a little girl who struggles with fear, guilt and confusion. Thankfully in the end the little girl finds someone she trusts, shares her secret and is set free.
I found that this book tackled a difficult issue in a calming and symplistic fashion. Easy for a child to understand. The book left me with the feeling that if I had a terrible secret to tell I could do so now, I would be safe.
“A Secret Safe to Tell” is told from the viewpoint of the child. In the beginning the little girl talks about how she feels special with her friend. Karen Erasmus does a wonderful job of showing this feeling through bright colours in her illustrations, including colourful butterflies and flowers. As the little girl becomes uncomfortable with this attention and she told to keep it a secret the illustrations change. The bright colours disappear and dark colours envelope the illustrations, even the butterflies become black. I really liked this visual technique as it should the pain and the prison the little girl is held in with feelings of confusion, guilt and fear. It was beautiful to see the butterflies turn back to colour once the girl tells her secret, symbolising her freedom.
I also like Hunter’s writing technique. It was symplistic and calming for a child. I also really liked that throughout the book certain words are fully capitalised. The reader is able to pick out these important words easily and get the essence of each page. The Emergency contact information at the end of the book is also a great resource. It is a reminder that no one has to be alone on this journey.
In conclusion I highly recommend “A Secret Safe To Tell” to anyone who works with or raises children. This book can open the doors of discussion if you suspect abuse. It can also start a conversation with children who have not been abused, but you want them to be aware of what could happen and how best to deal with it. Abuse, especially sexual abuse, is a difficult topic to approach a child about. With Naomi Hunters talented writing though you are given a helpful tool to empower all children and start breaking down the walls abuse builds.
There are four ways to purchase your very own copy of “A Secret Safe to Tell” as per Naomi Hunters facebook page http://www.facebook.com/naomihunterauthor
1. Send her a message with your order, to the facebook page, and she can send you a personally signed copy.
2. Go to http://classic-jojo.com/shop/picture-stories/a-secret-safe-to-tell/ and purchase through the publisher, but this will be un-signed.
3. Go to your local bookstore (if in Australia) and have them order it in, if it isn’t already on the shelf.
4. Check out online bookstores, such as booktopia.com.au or vipabooks.com.au
Hardcovers are $25 (AUD) and Softcovers are $17 (AUD).
Naomi Hunter is located in Melbourne, Australia but she says she is definitely happy to post internationally.
About Janet B
I am a Domestic Violence Survivor, who battles PTSD. I share what I know to help others on their journey and to help educate society. I also Supervise a Mentoring Program at Verbal Abuse Journals (http://verbalabusejournals.com/). This program matches Survivors who have been out of the abusive relationship for a few years, and are now Mentors, with Survivors who are either still in an abusive relationship or have just left. A mentoring relationship is set up via email where the Mentor offers guidance and support to the Survivor for as long as they need. Please feel free to sign up for this free service at http://ow.ly/LSii8
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