Another Creepy Uncle

My Body is Private coverMy Body Is Private
Walvoord and Pate

Submitter: This one is the definition of awful to me. The gross yellow/brown illustrations are enough to designate it as awful, but the content is just as bad. Of course, it’s always the Uncle that has to be the child molester – Uncle Ted and his peppermints and chewing tobacco.

Holly: I’m not a fan of the illustrations either, and the creepy uncle example is a bit overused. Other than that, it’s not so bad! It’s very honest, very open, and I can see how it would make a child feel safe to hear this book read by their parent. It uses correct anatomical terminology, too, which is always a plus in my book. Perhaps the authors could update this with a version where Creepy Uncle Ted tries to put her picture on Facebook or sell her into sex slavery. Now that would be awful.

everything bathing suit covers is private

too much tickling

Uncle Ted

inappropriate touches

no secrets


  1. Call me crazy, but I think this book does a good job at conveying its message without being ludicrous or creepy. It’s pretty straightforward and actually presents scenarios that might arise and gives kids tools on how to deal with them. I like that the mom tells the little girl to tell the creepy uncle off herself, rather than having to rely on her mom to do it for her, which builds empowerment and also lets the kid set her own boundaries about what she’ll tolerate and what she won’t. Anyway, despite the illustrations, I don’t think this book is awful!

  2. I have to say this one should be kept. It seems to have it all in there. Including correct terminology. Sure, the drawings are awful, but it seems to teach a lot better than any of the others I’ve seen. Normally they just say “Bathing suit area” and don’t call the privates by name. And the fact it stresses to tell no matter who does the abuse.

  3. So the child tells her mother that the uncle makes her uncomfortable…and mom lets the guy come over again? And tells the child it’s their responsibility to tell an adult? A better book would be one where the parent holds the perpetrator responsible.

    1. We haven’t read the whole book but he might not be doing anything perverted. It might be because she doesn’t like the smell of tobacco she doesn’t want him to touch her. I know I get horribly sick to my stomach around smokers. I don’t want to be near them. I don’t want to be touched by them. They could be perfectly lovely people but their smell makes me want to vomit!

      1. That’s true, I haven’t read the whole book, and the uncle could be harmless. I only jumped to the conclusion I did because whoever submitted the book described him as a “child molester.”

  4. I agree with Steph. Other than the illustrations, it’s quite a good book for the subject!

    Unless we are missing something, there might be nothing wrong with Uncle Ted. He probably has been holding her on his lap since she was a baby. Her mother doesn’t ask her for details, so her mother sees nothing wrong with Uncle Ted other than the girl not being comfortable with it any more. Ted may just be looking at her because he is realizing she is growing up.

  5. Just to clarify, I get why the book’s message could be seen as empowering for the child. I just think the parent also had a responsibility to keep a suspected abuser away from her child, or at least be in the same room.

  6. The illustrations could use some work, it’s true–they look unfinished to me. But yeah, I appreciate how straightforward the book is, and the emphasis on communication and empowerment without being too creepy or stupid. I also like Dad’s “no means no” stance.

  7. Was this the book the TV show ‘Touched by an Uncle’ was based on? Roma Downey Jr was sooo good in that show!

  8. I agree, aside from the illustrations, the book presents information in a very good format. It’s straightforward: there aren’t any talking animals or strange plot twists involving cults. It’s a shame the inside illustrations aren’t as nice as the cover.

  9. This is actually a pretty good example of a book about molestation and no meaning no. The illustrations aren’t great and are dated, but the words are great. I like the “no means no” take the dad has, and that it mentions that not only strangers, but also family or friends could touch you in a bad way. If you have more, better books, I suppose pull it, but certainly don’t pull it if you have nothing better to take its place.

  10. Where are people getting the idea that Uncle Ted is a “suspected abuser”? Sounds like he’s just a normal uncle and she’s gotten a little old for sitting on his lap and doesn’t like it any more. The fact that people interpret this as a “suspected abuser” make me wonder if jury service is such a good idea after all.

    1. Yeah, I remember when I didn’t want to kiss my Uncle and Auntie anymore. It’s a good thing we get that creepy feeling about adult laps at a certain age. And if Mom gave her this little talk, she probably realized that she didn’t have to sit there soaking up tobacco odor and BO like a teabag!

  11. So apparently this thing that people confuse the vagina and the vulva is not new at all. Otherwise, kudos for the anatomically correct names, the no means no, and all that.

    1. The only thing that’s new is people being pedantic about what it’s called. No one is confused.

  12. Yeah, I think this is a decent enough book for this topic–it’s not something you’d want to read as a bedtime story, but (unless there’s something awful in the pages we haven’t seen) it looks like a good way of discussing the topic of molestation with a kid. I like how the mom makes clear that being sexually abused isn’t a constant danger that you have to be on alert for all the time, but, like a fire, it’s useful to know in advance what to do, in the unlikely event it does happen.

  13. The story itself is excellent, but the pictures are strange. Mum looks like a Victorian. (I love what she says, though.)

  14. I agree with the other commenter’s, in that the story itself actually does a good job of presenting this sticky topic. Maybe the publisher can reissue this book with updated illustrations so it’s not so ‘early 1980’s.’ But really, what the mom said to her daughter is good advice–and, isn’t it true that children are more likely to be molested by someone they know? Sad really.

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