New picture book aims to keep children safe from sexual abuse
The first children’s book launched by the NSPCC, ‘Pantosaurus and the Power of PANTS’ hopes to help families have simple conversations about sexual abuse
Following a crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than £46,440, the children’s charity NSPCC has now launched its first book, set to help families have conversations with their children about difficult topics in simple ways, and to protect them from sexual abuse.
Research from the NSPCC suggests that 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused, making honest conversations between parents and their children a vital step in prevention.
Written by Rebecca Girlings, illustrated by Fhiona Galloway and Jamie Nash, and with the audiobook voiced by Game of Thrones actor and NSPCC ambassador for Childline Natalie Dormer – all money raised by the book will enable the charity to continue its work for children.
Children will follow Pantosaurus as he gets a new pair of pants, which Dinodad tells him will give him special powers. Pantosaurus then experiences a problem at school, but his super pants give him the confidence to speak up.
The story is designed to help children to learn about the NSPCC’s PANTS rule, which teaches them how to stay safe from sexual abuse. Each letter stands for a rule:
- P: Privates are private.
- A: Always remember your body belongs to you.
- N: No means no.
- T: Talk about secrets that upset you.
- S: Speak up, someone can help.
Since the launch of PANTS, the NSPCC estimates that 1.5 million parents have had these conversations with their children, and Sammy – a mother from the south-east, who has experienced sexual abuse herself – shares her reaction to the launch of the book:
“I think if I had this book as a child it would have opened that conversation. By making consent and teaching PANTS as part of normal life, it will likely be easier for a child to disclose. Many children may disclose to a school friend, so teaching PANTS is vital, and there’s no better way to do that than this book.”
In addition to the book, the NSPCC has previously shared the Pantosaurus song on YouTube, which has gained more than 2.6 million views since it was first uploaded in 2017.
“It is an honour to be the voice of the Pantosaurus and the Power of PANTS audio book and work with the NSPCC on their mission to fight for every childhood,” shared Natalie Dormer. “I have watched my nieces and nephews respond so well to the Pantosaurus song and as a new parent myself, my thoughts have turned to how important it is going to be to have these conversations. The book is a great way to make it feel natural and fun. I encourage all parents, carers and teachers to get a copy.”
Pantosaurus and the Power of PANTS is available in Matalan, selected Blakemore Retail SPAR stores or the NSPCC shop.
To speak to a counsellor about sexual abuse, connect with a professional using counselling-directory.org.uk