Leopardo The Miracle Cat- We want to begin with a disclaimer that this book speaks on sexual assault of a minor. Though this is a difficult subject for many, it is important that we speak on this topic with our children at age appropriate levels.
Leopardo is a miracle cat. Maria is thankful for her family of four. She believes that life could not get any better. When her parents through a party, she was happy. However, when one of the guests comes into Maria’s room and threatens her not to tell anyone what happened or she will hurt her parents and cat, she stays quiet.
Her parents and teacher begin to notice the sudden dramatic change in Maria’s behavior. Like many children who have dealt with SA, she is frightened, inverted and going silent. Thankfully, Maria does tell the truth and the process begins of arresting her attacker.
How The Book is Designed
The illustrator Arasteh Razaghi created pictures that children can relate to and understand. With such a tough topic, they make the pictures understanding for young children but also relatable. Author Lucia Bellafante parallels this by speaking about a hard topic very simply so children can not only understand the story, but also identify if they have had similar experiences and be brave enough to talk about it.
For parents, it is two fold. Parents learn that perpetrators are often (but not always) people we know. It teaches parents to be understanding, kind and create a safe space for children to feel comfortable to talk about what is going on. Whether that involves abuse, bullying or just to work through challenges, parents will see the absolute benefit in keeping an open mind and open heart for their children.
Not A Bedtime Story
This book is a part of a series that discusses a variety of topics that are in depth, challenging or about higher level of thinking subjects. This is why the series emphasizes that it is not a bed time story, but something to be discussed with children during the day. Additionally, we must do so in an age-appropriate manner.
The Miracle Cat
It is important to prepare our children for potential situations without scaring them. There is a fine balance. We must be sure as parents to engage in discussion as a family and create a safe space to do so. This book would be a good tool to introduce the tough topic of sexual assault, bullying or threats from an adult to a child. Stay safe, stay empowered and always keep constant communication open with your children.
READ: The Miracle Cat