cover image Chilly Stomach

Chilly Stomach

Jeannette Caines. HarperCollins Publishers, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020976-6

Chilly Stomach deals with child molestation in a way that may frighten children without educating them. Sandy gets a chilly stomach whenever Uncle Jim hugs her and kisses her on the lips. She's afraid her parents won't like her anymore if she tells them how she feels about Uncle Jim, so she tells her friend Jill instead, hoping that Jill's parents will tell her own. The title phrase is strongly evocative and the book's illustrations nicely depict Sandy's ambivalence. But instead of offering a victim of child abuse a definite course of action, the book seems to confirm Sandy's fear that her parents won't like her if she tells them the truth. A good, clear book on this subject could be a valuable teaching tool. Unfortunately, Chilly Stomach, though well intentioned, tends to obscure the issue. (47)