US Olympian Aly Raisman has revealed the cover for her new children’s book From My Head To My Toes.
The three-time Olympic gold medallist’s book, illustrated by artist Brittany “Bea” Jackson, is set to be released by Henry Holt and Co (BYR) on 4 April 2024. From My Head To My Toes will reportedly revolve around teaching children the importance of consent.
In a statement, Raisman said to People: “I hope that From My Head To My Toes, which features art by the talented Brittany Jackson, will help empower parents, guardians [and] anyone who picks up this book to talk about consent and body autonomy with kids in a positive and approachable way.”
The themes of consent are important to Raisman, as she was one of the many athletes who famously took the stand against US Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and accused him of sexual abuse. In 2018, Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his crimes.
Later that year, Raisman filed a lawsuit against the US Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Gymnastics for being “aware, at the highest levels of its organisation” that Nassar was molesting young female gymnasts and allowing him to keep his role within the organisation. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics ultimately reached a settlement of $380m for the survivors that year, pledging to safeguard athletes from sexual abuse in the future.
In a 2018 cover story for People, Raisman told the outlet, “I’m just starting to realise how strong I am and I won’t be silenced.”
Since her retirement in 2020, Raisman has become an advocate for sexual abuse survivors as well as supporting mental health awareness, having openly shared her struggles with anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. For From My Head To My Toes, Raisman relied on “expert-vetted resources” to craft a narrative that would be true to her “own journey to healing” as well as creating a narrative that helps children understand that they have a voice, too.
“On my own journey to healing, I’ve learned the importance of education and prevention, self-trust, and support for survivors,” the former gymnast explained. “I’ve often reflected on what I wish I knew when I was younger and what I’d tell my younger self. I think a lot about how important it is to teach kids from a young age to trust themselves and to believe that their voices are powerful and their bodies are their own.”
Raisman said she believes that by starting these crucial conversations about consent early on, children will have the tools to face these issues in the future.
“I believe that we can work to create a safer environment for children by talking openly about consent, healthy boundaries, and abuse prevention,” Raisman says. “I wish I had this book as a kid, and I can’t wait for you to read it!”
The book will be available online and in bookstores on 4 April.