In this interesting storybook for children, author Jewel Kats tells the story of a young Indian girl Reena who lives in America and is fascinated with Bollywood films. Her dream of becoming a Bollywood actress seems to come closer in form of a relative – Uncle Jessi – visiting her family. While Reena is overjoyed to see Uncle Jessi bringing her Bollywood themed gifts from India, she is soon invited by the visiting relative to his room when no one is home. What happens then makes a precious lesson for Reena, and for the readers of this story.
Living in a world of cable TV and media spilling over with glamorous coverage of the film stars, virtually every second girl in India, and abroad, grows up with the luring dream of becoming a showbiz celebrity, or at least looking like one in the eyes of others. This dream, sweet as it sounds, can be dangerous since it also unlocks the door in one’s personal life to potential abuse, particularly sexual abuse. No wonder that a shocking 53% of children in India reportedly experience child sexual abuse in some form.
Reena’s Bollywood Dream shows via the illustrated story of Reena what and how a sexual predator – usually somebody in the family – may coax a child into sexual abuse. Reena’s character is a good model for children in learning what to say and do when they have such an encounter with a potential abuser. The story teaches a valuable lesson in the courage to say “no” and trust in one’s close family members. Also, Reena’s story shows that one doesn’t have to give up on one’s dreams because of a bad experience.
As a recent article published in Times of India notes, in the words of a clinical psychologist, it is important to explain to children the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch”. Reena’s Bollywood Dream shows an even more fundamental form of abuse that precedes the physical abuse – the difference between a fair demand or order and an unfair one. Reena’s reluctance in following his abusive relative’s unfair demand marks the boundary between ignorance of the signs of abuse and the awareness of the same.
To help the native English readers further with the book’s reading, a glossary of some common Hindi words used in the story has been included at the beginning of the book. With Richa Kinra’s quality illustrations, this book is a must read for all young girls who aspire to be celebrities and must know the traps of victimization that lie in the way.
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Reenas-Bollywood-Dream-Story-Sexual/dp/1615990143/
Author Website: http://www.jewelkats.com/