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A story that helps teach young children that it’s okay to say no.

We Can Say No

illustrated by Isabel Muñoz

The fifth book in the We Say What’s Okay series, We Can Say No follows Zakiya and Sami as they learn that their bodies, including their hair, belong to them and that no one should touch them without permission. Using the book as a read-aloud, educators and families can model the language Zakiya and Sami’s teacher uses to support them. The author, who hosts workshops and trainings on teaching boundaries and consent for families and early childhood educators around the country, offers additional activities in the back of the book.

Digital content includes a song from Peaceful Schools with downloadable audio files and sheet music.
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Hardcover $15.99 87120 Hardcover 87120 $15.99
ISBN: 978-1-63198-712-0
Interest Level: Ages 3–5
Guided Reading Level: M
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 10" x 10"
Page Count: 36
Praise for We Can Say No

“Bodily autonomy is such an important topic to bring up to kids as early as they can understand it, and Bowers creates a tactful, accessible forum with this story. This book should be in every classroom.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review

“Thank you, Lydia, for being a pioneer and using your voice for those who have felt silenced on this topic. This story took me back to being in the fourth grade with braids and beads in an environment with children who did not look like me. I did not have the supportive voice in that space to say no, but stories like this encourage me. We have to make it a norm for children to have true autonomy over their whole body and space if we expect them to mature into confident adults. This story is for everyone, and I hope it elicits conversations and thought partners on this journey.”—Tara Hurdle, Education Coach

Related Resources

I Speak Up
We Listen to Our Bodies: A picture book about body awareness and consent.
A story about accepting no for an answer and how to handle the feeling of rejection.
Help children understand that it’s okay to establish personal boundaries and change their minds.

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