FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new storybook resource was launched today to help children, aged five to 11, before testifying in court.

The Department of Public Safety’s Victim Services program will use the book, entitled Felix Goes to Court, to help explain to children what may happen when a child becomes the victim of a crime. The resource was developed by the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB) in collaboration with the Victim Services program.

The book uses simple language and engaging graphics to tell the story of a puppy named Felix who becomes the victim of a crime. It is intended to help parents or guardians talk to their child about the experience of going to court, and the importance of telling the truth.

It includes an activity book with age-appropriate activities that can serve as a useful icebreaker for police, Crown prosecutors, counsellors and other professionals who work with children.

“As a former police officer, I know how important it is for a child to be comfortable going through the court process,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart. “This is one more tool that will help children understand what it means to testify.”

The book complements information that Victim Services and justice professionals already provide to child victims and witnesses, and their parents. Parents will be provided with an accompanying tip sheet, which has more information about Victim Services resources.

The book is dedicated to Fredericton Police Force officers Robb Costello and Sara Burns, who died in the line of duty last year. Today’s launch at the Fredericton Public Library featured a reading and reception that included representatives of government, the police force and the community.

PLEIS-NB is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate and inform the public about the law. It receives funding and in-kind support from Justice Canada, the New Brunswick Law Foundation and the Office of the Attorney General.

The new storybook, activity book and tips for parents are available online and in public libraries across the province.