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Build Confidence with Books

October 20th is National Youth Confidence Day. Helping kids develop a sense of confidence and resilience is a big task for parents and caregivers. The American Psychological Association has books for children and teens that explore confidence, self-esteem, and resilience Here are some of our recent titles:    Big Bold Beautiful Me: A Story That’s Loud Proud and Celebrates You! by Jane Yolen and Maddison Stemple-Piatt  Big Bold Beautiful Me is a delightful announcement of self-love, self-appreciation, self-acceptance, and self-comfort, and being 100% proud of who you are and your shape. Check out the book.  “Children celebrate their abundant bodies, from their hair to their feet…As each child repeats the celebratory refrain, Burgett’s cheerful illustrations portray them alongside kids from previous spreads, emphasizing connection and belonging… An upbeat, uncomplicated ode to bodies that are big, thick, broad, and boundless.”—Kirkus Reviews    Brilliant Bea by Shaina Rudolph and Mary Vukadinovich  Brilliant Bea is an endearing and empowering story that demonstrates that a learning difference like dyslexia doesn’t define who you are. Check out the book.   “The teacher’s supportive actions are wonderful to see, but even better is how the tape recorder helps Bea connect with her classmates. Printed in a dyslexia-friendly font, this affirming story about finding your feet and your voice is a lovely confidence booster for young readers, especially those who may learn differently.” —Booklist  Hear the story read aloud. Read an excerpt from the Reader's Note.   You Can't Please Everyone! by Ellen Flanagan Burns  Ellie feels like she is disappointing people if she says “no.” With help from her parents and her teacher, Ellie finds the strength to be honest with people and do the right thing for herself by learning how to say “no.” Check out the book.    Read an excerpt from the introduction.       Like Ability: The Truth About Popularity by Lori Getz, MA and Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD  Like Ability is a practical, insightful guide for teens about popularity: what it is, why some kinds are healthier than others, and how teens can grow their social intelligence and develop the confidence they need to feel more connected to their family, peers, and community. Check out the book.   Read an excerpt from Like Ability.    The Kid Confident books are part of a new nonfiction book series developed with expert psychologist and series editor, Bonnie Zucker, PsyD, that authentically captures the middle school experience. These books skillfully guide middle schoolers through those tricky years between elementary and high school with a supporting voice of a trusted big sister or a favorite aunt, stealthily offering life lessons and evidence-based coping skills.   Kid Confident: How To Manage Your SOCIAL POWER In Middle School (Book #1) by Bonnie Zucker, PsyD  Kid Confident (Book #1) discusses dynamic of social power, equal and unequal, in the context of friendships and with unfriendly peers. Readers learn how to be more assertive and how to create more self-confidence and balance the power in their friend groups. Check out

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Build Confidence with Books 2022-10-19T18:49:07-04:00

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.

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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. 

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