Book Review of Sweet Surprise or Sour Secret by Apurva Kaushik Sharma
Trickiest thing in the world?
Educating younger children, particularly on subjects that may be intimidating or overwhelming to them, such as a bad touch, is essential. And yet, it is unavoidable because, in today’s world, we must ensure that they are made aware of the dangers of such vices for their own safety. So, how does one do it without giving away more than what is necessary?
There is no greater inhumanity in the world than hurting or belittling a child.
Indeed, childhood should be a period all about being carefree, playing in the sun, and enjoying those years of growing up. Child abuse is a brutal reality which casts a shadow that remains for the period of a person’s lifetime.
In our society, child abuse continues to remain one of those issues that is difficult to talk about because it is surrounded by that stigma of guilt, shame, and other such emotions. All people tend to do is avoid the issue and not talk about it at all, choosing to avoid it altogether.
However, child abuse is one of those things that damages a person for life, and that damage is in no way such that it can be diminished by ignoring the person who did it. Only by telling the truth can a viable solution that caters to all parties involved be found. Thus, even if done behind closed doors, it is essential that it never be swept under the rug.
Wondering why I am discussing such sensitive issues today? As a parent figure, I always believe that, in addition to taking proper care of the children and handling and raising them, it is equally important to ensure that they are taught to protect themselves from an early age. We may have moved forward as a generation, whether technologically or otherwise, yet redundancy and backward, narrow-minded behavioural patterns in terms of not being able to address the “elephants” continue to be a part of our behaviour.
I read a very cute little book which was full of beautiful illustrations, the story of Aditya, Sara and Harry. Yes, the 3 friends love to live, laugh and hang out together, the tiny traunts enjoying life with tiny steps. And yet, the real world is brutal the grim shadows of realities are very much there too.
Confused, well the book addresses a skeleton which rarely comes out of our closet but is always present, waiting like a demon to pounce on its prey. I am referring to abuse aka good and bad touch theories.
So, coming back, I have always felt that addressing the “good and bad touch“ theory and explaining it to kids in a manner where they relate to it in a simple fashion, understand it, and most importantly, are comfortable grasping it enough to be able to implement it, is tricky business. Why? Making them understand it is surely difficult, and so is finding a good handbook that is not only simple enough for them to be able to read, relate to, and comprehend but also one that acts as a manual or handbook, aka a sort of talisman, for parents, guardians, and all other caretakers to help educate their kids regarding child abuse.
Sweet Surprise or Sour Secret by Apurva Kaushik Sharma is a children’s book that explains these facets, as well as good and bad touches, red flags, and how to set up their own safety and safety circles. Putting it all in the form of a small story that kids will resonate with, Apurva has discussed it in a conversational style and made sure that the idea is put forward in a subtle yet clear manner. Steering it so as to put in the tell-tale signs of a bad touch without any compromising data or words is a task Apurva has successfully executed. This book has actually been a lot of help, especially to help kids understand their environment and the vulnerability they are privy to. With a helpful note at the end, it surely also helps children determine their individual safety circles, thereby safeguarding them from any such bestial vices.
Alongside this, the importance of having a “safety circle,” aka a group of people whom the child can trust and go to in case of distress, is another logical exercise that I feel must be taught to the kids, again as rightly pointed out by Apurva.
Simple language and fun narration, along with an informative purpose, are what make this a great children’s book, as well as one with a clearly higher purpose—education against wrongdoing. I really liked the manner in which Apurva has employed education of this sort in a fun way, ensuring that the book works in a dual capacity as both a great manual for those caretakers who want the kids to become vigilant against bad touch and an informative read for younger kids. Brownie points from my side for the illustrations too, since they are simple yet tastefully done, on point, and most importantly, relatable for kids. This is a book I feel you must make your kids read as soon as they are out of the safety perimeter, aka the radius of your protection, when they start school and go out into the world. Great work.
As Apurva rightly says, one can protect children better when they are educated, since that not only leads to appropriate social growth but also a happy childhood, thereby leading them to become confident adults. I must say that I second her thought of starting this preventive education now rather than never.
So, I hope you guys liked my thoughts on this one. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, fun, finance, education, food, lifestyle, tech, and gadgets, as well as all things bookish.