About Jo Rooks

Jo Rooks is an award-winning author-illustrator who studied graphic design and illustration at Bath School of Art and Design. She illustrated several award-winning books, including A Box of Butterflies and Hector's Favorite Place. Visit her at Jo Rooks Illustration and Follow her on Facebook: @JoRooksIllustration, Twitter: @JoRooksArt, and Instagram: @JoRooksIllustration.

Making Your Own Luck

Belief in luck and superstition has been a part of every different culture, the world over. But can belief in luck or superstition be something we should encourage in our children?  In my story, Layla’s Luck, Layla is a ladybug who is a great believer in all things lucky. She is always keen to attribute her ‘lucky’ objects to her every success and achievement, but she doesn’t consider claiming any of the credit for herself. When there is a ‘Cake Bake’ in the garden and she doesn’t know how to bake a cake, she believes there is only one thing to do: rely on her luck! Without a recipe or weighing her ingredients, the resulting cake is one big disaster! Layla’s belief in luck has meant that she didn’t take any responsibility for the results of her actions either good or bad. When things went well, she gave praise to her luck rather than her hard work and effort; and when things went badly, she regarded her luck to have ‘run out’ and didn’t realize that her lack of practice or research had led her to a failure. Studies have shown that girls, in particular, are less likely to attribute their successes to personal effort compared to boys, suggesting things like, ‘it was just down to a lucky break’ or ‘luck was on my side that time’.  Studies show how boys tend to enjoy their successes more and outwardly, and take pride in their personal achievements much more. The reasons for this difference in behavior is uncertain.  Whatever the reason, it is important to recognize this as a parent and allow kids to grow up being able to recognize their own smarts with confidence, and to understand if their efforts led to a success. It’s great to show how hard work and practice pay off. Having a balanced approach to luck and superstition is probably the best way to be.  Being open minded to a positive outcome is a great attitude to encourage in our children.  Hard work and effort should always be commended and applauded no matter what the outcome.  We should foster the mindset that the journey is of as much importance as the destination. Even when we fail at something, we learn important lessons in the process that can lead to success in the future. Help kids manage disappointment by talking about how some factors will always be out of our control and will sometimes cause situations to turn out badly, but hard work and effort help people control the factors they can.  However, research also shows how superstition and using a ‘lucky’ object can often lead to a better performance, especially in sport. This is because it is said to boost confidence and calm anxiety. So, maybe wearing that lucky pair of socks for the football finals could be a good call after all! Just be sure to practice too, and don’t take the socks too seriously! Layla's Luck is part of the Once Upon

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Making Your Own Luck 2020-07-21T10:47:54-04:00

A Box of Butterflies

What does love feel like? What does love feel like to you? A box of butterflies? A colorful dancing kite? Everyone has feelings—and we all experience feelings in different ways. Join Ruby as she describes different emotions to her friend, Robot, when Magination Press author, Jo Rooks, reads A Box of Butterflies aloud! Dr. Elizabeth McCallum wrote the Note to Parents and Caregivers for A Box of Butterflies. Click here to read an excerpt providing guidance about how to support children's emotional development. For downloadable activity pages created for A Box of Butterflies, click here.

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A Box of Butterflies 2020-05-19T15:17:23-04:00

Magination Press Quick Tip: Fostering Your Child’s Healthy Self-Concept

February is International Boost Self-Esteem Month   As a parent, helping your child develop a healthy self-concept is an ongoing task. The term “self-esteem” is widely used, but is also complicated. Studies have shown that not enough self-esteem is a problem, but so is too much. If a child’s self self-esteem is based on an inflated impression of ability, instead of  merit, that can be harmful, too.  Self-concept is a broader idea than self-esteem. It’s how a person thinks about herself generally, not just the esteem part. So how do you help your child develop a balanced, healthy self-concept? Focus on empowering your child to make choices and act for herself. Praise genuine effort and achievement. Teach your child about self-acceptance. Here are some strategies to try: Give your child age-appropriate choices to help them feel empowered. It can be as simple as “would you like apples or carrots with your lunch?” or “of these picture books, which one would you like to read first?" Making these small decisions will allow them to grow in confidence, build personal agency, and feel that their opinion is valued.  Embrace the idea that nobody is perfect. Show your child that don’t expect everyone to be good at everything, and that we all have things which we find more challenging. Point out to your child when you are struggling with something by saying something like: "Oops. That didn't work out the way I thought it would. That's ok. I'll try again." Emphasize effort, persistence, and improvement, not immediate perfection. Allow your child to do things for themselves. Learning a new skill such as doing their buttons up by themselves will give them a true sense of accomplishment. As a parent, this takes patience, but building new skills takes time.The goal isn’t perfection, but growing independence and confidence. Don’t compare your child to others or their siblings.Try to appreciate each child’s individual qualities. Give praise and point out when they have done things well. Acknowledging the effort and hard work put into an achievement is important. So is talking about what happened when kids fail. Everyone stumbles or fails: what we learn from our failures is valuable and lets us do better in the future. A healthy self-concept includes a balance of esteem and self-knowledge resulting in confidence, perseverance, and humility. A realistic self-image based on accurate and age-appropriate feedback and experience can help your child navigate life's challenges. These tips are provided by Jo Rooks, author of Magination Press book, Lucy’s Light. Lucy’s Light is about learning self-acceptance.

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Magination Press Quick Tip: Fostering Your Child’s Healthy Self-Concept 2021-02-11T17:01:21-05:00