We Can Say No (We Say What's Okay) (Hardcover)
A story that helps teach young children that it’s okay to say no.
Feeling empowered to say no is a key foundation of consent. We Can Say No builds children’s social and emotional skills and helps teach them that it’s okay to say no.
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.
We Say What's Okay Series
Centered around a class of preschoolers, this series helps teach young children the social and emotional skills they need to understand the complexities of consent. Each book covers a consent theme, such as how to recognize the physical sensations that emotions create, look for body language cues, ask for and listen to choices, and know that our bodies have value. With believable, everyday situations and diverse characters, children can see themselves and others reflected in each story—and develop a vocabulary to communicate consent and feelings. Every book in the series is accompanied by its own song from Peaceful Schools with downloadable audio files and sheet music.
About the Author
Lydia Bowers is a speaker, consultant, and trainer who happily exists in the Venn diagram overlap between early childhood and sex education.
After spending almost two decades working directly with children as a classroom teacher and a parent, she is passionate about reframing sexuality conversations. Lydia now teaches families and educators how to talk to children about subjects like gender, reproduction, and abuse. When she’s not traveling around the country for conferences and speaking engagements, she lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children and adds to her growing collection of children’s book character tattoos as often as she can.
Follow her on TikTok @lydiatalksconsent.
Isabel Muñoz’s dream was to paint for a living, and now she’s proud to be the illustrator of several children’s books.
She works from a tiny and colorful studio in the north of Spain.
- 2022 ENDIES Award, Best Pattern
“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