Former Nanaimo youth worker Ralph Frank has released his first children’s book about inappropriate touching, ‘Lady B Spots Trouble.’ (Photo courtesy Lucy Frank)

Former Nanaimo youth worker Ralph Frank has released his first children’s book about inappropriate touching, ‘Lady B Spots Trouble.’ (Photo courtesy Lucy Frank)

Former Nanaimo youth worker pens children’s book about inappropriate touching

Ralph Frank’s ‘Lady B Spots Trouble’ teaches children that it’s OK to say ‘no’

A longtime youth worker and sexual abuse counsellor has written his first children’s book to help teach children how to identify and respond to “unsafe touch.”

This month Nanaimo’s Ralph Frank released Lady B Spots Trouble, his first in a trilogy of books aimed at children from kindergarten to Grade 2. The book follows Lady B, a safety-conscious ladybug, as she teaches her five-year-old friend Jesse that when his gut feeling is telling him something’s not right, he’s allowed to say ‘no’ and ask adults he trusts for help.

“This is a difficult subject and a lot of parents have difficulty talking about this and it’s not that they don’t care – parents care hugely about their children’s safety – but [they] don’t know how to talk about it,” Frank said. “And so what I’ve tried to create is really a safe way of having this big conversation.”

Frank compares educating young children about inappropriate touching with teaching them how to cross the street safely. He said crossing the street can be dangerous, but instead of scaring children, they’re taught to hold hands and look both ways.

“Slowly, step-by-step, they learn in a safe way how to cross the street and it’s exciting when they can do that and most parents don’t panic over that,” Frank said. “We can do the same thing with touch and so that’s really the point of these books is to create a common language about safety and to do it in a way that’s fun.”

The book series came out of a sexual abuse awareness and prevention project he and some other counsellors created for the Nanaimo Ladysmith school district in 2005 called the Sharing Safety Program. The program ran at Bayview Elementary School for four years before Frank and his team were asked to train more school counsellors to present the program across the district. He said “the kids just loved it.”

“The reason they loved it, particularly for the younger children, was that we were bringing in stuffed animals, creating lovable characters, creating skits. There was some humour in them but in the humour we were able to teach them things and the kids really responded,” he said.

Frank has since retired and he said writing the Lady B books was a way for him to continue his work supporting children. He said teaching children about consent and personal boundaries and that it’s OK to get help when they feel uncomfortable will prepare them for the future.

“Boundaries are so important and our bodies are very much part of our boundaries and when we can be in charge of our own boundaries and when children can learn that, they’re going to be much safer later on in life,” he said. “And then if anything should happen, hopefully it never does, but if something should happen they will know how to deal with it and be able to get the help and support that they need.”

Lady B Spots Trouble is available at Windowseat Books, 309C Wesley St., and online at www.allowedtosayno.com/bookstore.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Books

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man was arrested at a Nanaimo convenience store last week for challenging customers to fights. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Shadow boxing’ Nanaimo man arrested after challenging convenience store customers to fights

Man spends night in a cell at Nanaimo RCMP detachment, released without charges

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party’s climate action platform at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. Greens say minority government can best address ‘overlapping crises’

Furstenau talks to the News Bulletin about coalitions, old-growth forests and ferries

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

Surveillance image of a suspect in a break-and-enter in Nanoose Bay on Oct. 20. (Submitted photo)
Suspect in Nanoose Bay uses garage door opener to get into home, takes keys, steals truck

Oceanside RCMP ask for public’s help to try to identify suspect

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read