Captivate and Educate: A journey from childhood!
A children’s book author and child safety advocate empowering children to learn about personal safety. Blossom Bunny’s secret is an amalgamation of a vision and desire to assist Australian children.
One of my fondest childhood memories are my visits to primary school library sessions. As a young girl I would sit front and centre and listen intently to the teacher librarian, whom I adored, as she read aloud books to the class. I would immerse myself into the magic of The Far Away Tree and delight in the fun of the Mr. Men series. I would imagine myself one day reading as this fabulous teacher did to a class full of students- visualising myself as a teacher.
As a young girl with this dream in mind, I never imagined that one day, not only would I be reading to a class full of children, but the book that I would be holding, and reading, would have been written by me. At the precipice of my 2021 journey, I am well on my way to being a published children’s book author.
Why I began writing my book?
After working in the field of protective behaviours, my knowledge surrounding the statistics of Australian child abuse and neglect grew astronomically. This field involves educating members of society on lessons of personal safety. My role, in particular, was directed mainly at teaching these lessons to grade one children. I have 26 years of educational experience, including a career in childcare, schools, health, and drug education. From each of these, I was immersed in an understanding of the statistics surrounding the true horrors of atrocities hidden behind a veil of the topic’s taboo nature. I knew that I needed to act further to be a part of the prevention of this abuse and seek to remove the stigma surrounding its discussion.
Whilst confronting, the statistics demonstrate the harsh reality for many Australian children. Act for Kids state that every 11 minutes, an Australian Child is abused or neglected. This means that in a year, you could fill a football stadium. As you are reading this article and magazine, the statistics continue to grow.
This is where my book began to come to fruition. I decided to write a book that helped empower children to learn lessons in personal safety. These lessons included:
What is, and how to respond to inappropriate touch.
The dangers of keeping unsafe secrets.
The warning signs and feelings your body produces in unsafe scenarios.
The importance of seeking help and assistance from a trusted adult.
I understand that this is a delicate topic and that many people feel uncomfortable discussing such things with children. So too, I understand that this topic may be a trigger for some people. Consequently, it was my mission to produce a book that utilised characters in a way that allowed anybody to pick up the book and feel comfortable reading it, yet still effectively get the important messages of personal safety across. Hence, Blossom Bunny’s Secret was born.
Blossom Bunny’s Secret is a cute and engaging picture book. It assists children in learning to identify unsafe secrets and feelings and to identify warning signs of inappropriate touching. Blossom Bunny empowers children to protect their bodies.
My first confronting experience working in the field:
I will never forget the first disclosure of abuse I had from a young child whilst working in the field. This child felt safe enough to tell me about their personal experience of abuse and it has stayed with me until this day. Even though a disclosure is never a nice thing to hear, I also felt proud to be able to assist the child and act as a safe and trusted adult that they felt comfortable confiding in. This was undeniably a catalyst for my book.
Clearly, I strongly believe in the message my book entails. As a result, my ultimate goal is to have as many children educated on personal safety as possible. It is my desire to have my book in as many childcare centres, schools, libraries, and homes as physically possible.
Out of all of the educational pathways I have worked in, the prevention of child abuse and neglect has been the most rewarding. It is undeniably my passion and I, wholeheartedly, believe that this is my purpose. I encourage anyone to believe in their own dreams because you can make them a reality.
The process of publishing my book
I encourage anyone who wants to write and publish a book to ‘take the plunge’ and go for it. Whilst, I needed to learn the lesson of patience, as the process is lengthy, every step is rewarding. You learn many new skills across the field for which you never knew you needed. I am currently blogging and running social media accounts and a website. I personally, am not the best with technology and yet I am still seeing success on these platforms. I had to quickly develop my skills, but you will find that many people are willing to assist you in your endeavours. Not only this, but I have developed many friendships with fellow aspiring authors, which has made the experience even more worthwhile.
Giving back to the community
I, truly, want to emphasise an organisation that I hold a lot of respect for: Kid’s Helpline. A percentage of all sales of my book will be donated to the wonderful efforts of this company. It gives me great relief to know that there is always someone that a child can confide in, thanks to Kid’s Helpline. As we know, not every child lives a healthy, happy, and safe lifestyle. Nor does every child have a network of supportive people that they can disclose troubles to. However, Kid’s Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and acts as a support system for a myriad of Australian children every year.
So many wonderful people are out there in the world attempting to make a difference in many facets of life. I am proud to be able to say that I am assisting in the prevention sector of child abuse and neglect. I am proud to be empowering children to learn about personal safety to hopefully, make an impact on the statistics; even, if my impact is only small. Feel free to follow my website and social media accounts for all the latest updates. I cannot wait to see my debut book, Blossom Bunny’s Secret, hit shelves near you. Blossom herself is excited to ‘captivate and educate’.