Being a parent is difficult, to say the very least. Aside from keeping your kids happy, healthy and safe, there’s still a lot that goes into raising them—especially when it comes to talking about certain topics. It’s difficult to start those conversations because the topics may be a bit awkward to discuss.
Here are a few children’s books that can help you teach your child about concepts like body autonomy, the environment, and politics and history:
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Glenda Oris’ “Ako ay may Kiki” and Genaro R. Gojo Cruz’s “Ako ay may Titi” discuss body ownership and hygiene. “Ako ay may Kiki’s” synopsis reads: “My vagina is a part of my body that belongs to me and only me, and that’s why I’ll always take good care of it, and protect it.”
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While the synopsis for “Ako ay may Titi” goes “Like my eyes, nose, mouth and ears, I should take care of my penis my Nanay tells me. This is a very important part of my body.” These books are both illustrated by Beth Parrocha and are recommended for children aged five years and older.
Mahal ko ang Aking Katawan
Nikki Luna’s “Mahal Ko ang Aking Katawan” is another children’s book that discusses body ownership and consent. “The book is pretty basic. I wrote all the body parts babies or children are actually starting to discover from their feet, hands, and heart, then focusing on how they can try to protect their body (during) everyday activities, (and) then (putting emphasis) on (how) their body should be theirs and theirs alone,” Luna told Nolisoli in 2018.[READ: A Filipino children’s book on consent that you can now watch and use for teaching—for free]
Where Did All the Fireflies Go?
For readers aged five and up
In Renee Juliene Karunungan’s “Where Did All the Fireflies Go?” Tonyo and firefly Ningning are best friends. The synopsis reads: “One day, Ningning and the other fireflies decide to leave the town to find a better place to live in. Will Ningning and Tonyo meet again?”
Illustrated by Irish Pearl Flores, this children’s book places importance on environmental education and working towards a clean environment to bring the fireflies back. “Where Did All the Fireflies Go” is recommended for children aged five and up.
Bayan ng Basura
For readers aged eight and up
Augie Rivera’s “Bayan ng Basura” is about a sea turtle that was swept away by a storm from its clean and beautiful home into a land of trash. The synopsis reads: “Pawikan’s home is peaceful, clean, and bountiful—like an everyday feast! But one night, a storm rumbled through and Pawikan was swept away to the land of trash! Would Pawikan ever be able to return home?”
Illustrated by Jill Arteche, “Bayan ng Basura” talks about how important it is to empathize with and care for our marine life. It also deals with the waste we produce and how it affects our environment. This book is recommended for children aged eight and up.
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