Ask First, Monkey!
Juliet Clare Bell and Abigail Tompkins
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Mischievous Monkey considers himself Tickletastic – the world’s best tickler – but in so becoming he’s most definitely been invading the personal space of others.
Goat was decidedly unhappy about being tickled; he certainly didn’t give consent and, to Monkey’s surprise, quite rightly tells him to stop.
Paying little heed however, the tickler continues to be a disrespecter of boundaries, demonstrating various other tickling styles and causing his fellow animals to show him their ‘frowny faces’
and to say how much they disliked his actions.
Eventually the message gets through; Monkey apologies to all his friends – goat, giraffe, panda, rabbit, dog, lion cub and goose, frog …
Then comes the light bulb moment, ‘Ask first!’ And that applies to hugging or any other form of touching: No need for reasons why, no coercion; consent is crucial.
Written by Juliet Clare Bell, the story is simply and succinctly told with gentle humour yet without being overtly didactic, and illustrated with Abigail Tompkins’ vibrant, colourful portrayal of actions and reactions.
A book for sharing, discussing and acting upon that definitely should be in all nurseries, child and parent groups, early years classrooms and families with young children.