body image

Friendship and Social Media

Peacock loves to see his friend Sketch, a girl who comes to the zoo and inks drawings of him. But life was lonely when she wasn't around, so he ventures out from the zoo. As a free bird, his adventures attract all the attention he’d always dreamed of: adoring fans, tons of photos, and news headlines. But when his tail feathers fall out, his fame evaporates, and Peacock finally comes to appreciate Sketch, who’s stayed by his side from the beginning. Peacock and Sketch by Allan Peterkin, MD is a lighthearted exploration of the fleeting nature of social media stardom and the importance of real-world friendships.  This excerpt from the Reader’s Note provides tips about how to navigate social media with kids.  “It’s an inventive introduction to the increasingly prevalent world of social media and fleeting fame, playfully positing that, while fun can be had in those arenas, real satisfaction comes through real-life friends and deeper interactions. The snazzy illustrations are a delight, and Peacock’s dramatic poses are particularly entertaining. A splashy, sweet story about the pitfalls of fame and the value of true friendship.”  Booklist Experts talk about the “Three Cs” in social media which are a good framework for parents to use when they talk to their children about the benefits and risks of social media:  CONTENT: Is what’s posted age-appropriate? Truthful? Helpful? What information should never be shared? How does your child feel after accessing specific images and messages? Invite them to discuss anything that makes them uncomfortable. CONTACT: Is it safe to connect with people you don’t really know? What might the risks be? Can your child see beyond glossy images or clever posts and think about a real person with feelings on the other end? Kids need to be reminded that all those anonymous followers are not real friends. CONDUCT: This involves courtesy, ethical behavior, and empathy. Words can hurt if they lead to judgement, humiliation, and bullying. Parents can give their own examples of deciding to wait and reflect instead of replying impulsively or angrily to a message that bothered them.  Parents reading Peacock and Sketch can explore with their children how online connections can be fun and teach you lots of things about the world and human nature. But they can use the story to emphasize that a real friend loves the real you, even when you don’t look or feel great, and shows up in person when things get tough. Fame can’t replace friendship. Start reading Peacock and Sketch here.

Read More
Friendship and Social Media 2022-01-10T23:28:00-05:00

Creating Art for Picture Books: Interview with Illustrators

During Children’s Book Week, Magination Press illustrators shared their experiences creating art for picture books in this panel discussion, moderated by Magination Press’s designer, Rachel Ross.  The panel included: Brittany E. Lakin, illustrator of Blossom and Bud Mackenzie Haley, illustrator of Pockets Full of Rocks: Daddy Talks About Depression Sandhya Prabhat, illustrator of Peacock and Sketch Jamey Christoph, illustrator of Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt Read a two-part excerpt from author Dr. Frank Sileo’s note to parents and caregivers from Blossom and Bud here and here. Read an interview with Pockets Full of Rocks author, Yair Engelberg, here. 

Read More
Creating Art for Picture Books: Interview with Illustrators 2021-07-27T11:23:32-04:00

Fostering a Positive Body Image, Part 2

We are all different shapes, sizes, and colors, each of us special in our own way. Blossom and Bud by Frank J. Sileo, PhD was written to help children respect, accept and appreciate how their own and others’ bodies are beautiful and different in their own ways. It was also written to foster discussion in a safe and comfortable environment with the caregivers in their lives.  Understanding individual differences and body diversity may help children build self-esteem, feel kindness toward themselves and others, practice healthy eating, have more realistic expectations of their appearance, and possess a healthy body image.  In his Note to Adult Gardeners in Blossom and Bud, Dr. Sileo provides information and suggestions about nurturing a positive body image in children. Here’s an excerpt with tips for fostering a healthy body image. Fostering a Healthy Body Image Examine your own attitudes -- Consider your own beliefs, attitudes, statements, and behaviors around weight, physical characteristics, food, exercise, and health. If we make statements like, “I hate my thighs,” “I need to lose weight before my birthday,” or “I hate my nose,” we convey that we are critical of our appearance, that a healthy body must be perfect, and certain sizes and shapes are unacceptable. Words are important, but back them up with positive behavior. Constant dieting, excessive workouts, or adjusting pictures for social media posts send negative messages about body image to your children. Focus on your child’s inner qualities -- Focus less on appearance and more on your child’s abilities, gifts, and skills. Have discussions about what it means to be a good person without focusing on appearance. Praise your child for inner qualities that make them special. Exercise for enjoyment -- Engage in physical activities without focusing on losing weight. Place your emphasis on what a body can do instead of what a body looks like or cannot do. Talk about healthy food choices -- Take your child shopping and talk about healthy food choices. Model making healthy food choices. Teach your child that having an occasional treat is fine. These foods can be enjoyed in small amounts and in moderation. Educate children about the media --Watch television and movies with your child, and look for advertisements together. Discuss how the media sells products and sometimes portray certain bodies as “ideal.” Explain how the media sometimes will touch up photos or use other tech to change people’s appearance.  Be mindful of bullying -- Children may get teased or bullied about their body or their appearance, but may not say anything about it. If you discover your child is being bullied, talk with them about it. Listen to what they have to say and watch for changes in their behavior, like refusing to participate in activities. Bullying rarely goes away on its own. It may require you to reach out to other adults to make a plan of action. Teach how bodies grow -- Communicate that everyone grows and changes at different times. Encourage your child not

Read More
Fostering a Positive Body Image, Part 2 2021-05-18T23:05:36-04:00