Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author

We all need to belong, but it can be hard to find a way to fit in. In Elephant’s Music, Edward, the elephant loves music, but has no musical ability at all. This lovely picture book explores how Edward and members of his favorite band find a way for him to be part of the performance. We’ve interviewed author and illustrator, Monika Filipina, about the process of creating Elephant’s Music.  Magination Press: What inspired you to write Elephant’s Music? Monika Filipina: I usually take inspiration from my own experiences and the world around me. For this story the main character is a little bit like myself. I always wanted to have talent for music, but sadly I am terrible at singing or playing any instrument. I tried to play guitar and flute in the past, but it just did not work! I had to accept that I am tone-deaf and that I will not make it as a singer. I tried to find the crowd that likes to listen to the terrible noise, but that did not happen.  MP: Why did you choose animals instead of people as your characters? MF: I love animals. They are fun and very playful to draw, they can have imaginary colors and fantastic shapes. Drawing the animal characters will always be my absolute favorite, and I believe that it shows in the artwork, when the creator had fun making the art. For some reason when I think about a story, the first thing that comes to me is the main character is an animal - the lion, the cat, the owl, the rabbit, the elephant… It works subconsciously, it just happens in my mind. Animals are perfect for exaggerating specific features without offending anyone. This time the main character happened to be an elephant because it all started with a single drawing of an elephant who had no fingers to play violin. The funny thing is that in Poland we have a saying that “an elephant stepped on one’s ear” which is a humorous idiom for someone who sings off-key or is very unmusical, and another one “to move like an elephant in the porcelain warehouse” about someone being very clumsy. So, the elephant seemed to be the perfect character for the story! MP: Why did you choose music instead of sports, art, or some other activity? MF: It is very difficult to explain. This idea of a clumsy elephant trying to play violin came to me. Sometimes it is very hard for me to tell where the idea comes from… It just happens. I walk, or sit, or read a book, or exercise, and suddenly, I have an image in my head and it all begins. I have to stop and write it down so it doesn’t go away.  MP: Edward found a way to participate in the concerts by being the band’s biggest fan. But it wasn’t until the other band members recognized his percussion abilities and the monkeys gave Edward

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Elephant’s Music: Interview with the Author 2021-04-27T11:49:59-04:00

April Is Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. 1 in 54 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults.1  Magination Press has a variety of resources for children and teens about Autism and Asperger’s to help them understand and manage their diagnosis. All My Stripes: A Story For Children With Autism by Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer "Nobody gets me, Mama!" In the award-winning picture book, Zane the zebra feels different from the rest of his classmates. He worries that all they notice about him is his "autism stripe." With the help of his Mama, Zane comes to appreciate all his stripes — the unique strengths that make him who he is! “Rudolph and Royer shine a light on the autism spectrum, but go a step further and show how endearing, unique and beautiful the children are in this inspiring story about embracing differences.” — Children's Books Heal Asperger's Rules!: How To Make Sense Of School And Friends by Blythe Grossberg A large part of school isn't just taking tests, reading, and writing — it's knowing the rules for behavior in the classroom and learning how to communicate with teachers and classmates. This book makes school easier for kids with Asperger's by explaining the confusing — and often unwritten — rules of the classroom “Grossberg provides an upbeat and supportive guide for readers with Asperger's, covering feelings and emotions, teachers, asking for help, and dealing with bullies…The invaluable advice should help readers navigate new challenges.” — Publishers Weekly Asperger's Teens: Understanding High School For Students On The Autism Spectrum by Blythe Grossberg  For a teen with Asperger's, high school can be a time of great promise and opportunity — to learn more about subjects they're excited about, join clubs and activities that interest them, and make new friends — but it can also be uncomfortable at times. This award-winning book helps them use their strengths and unique personal style to feel more comfortable in high school and to be better able to make friends, understand teachers, and get the grades they are capable of. "High school students who have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome will find this a welcome tool to add to their support resources. The straightforward tone and achievable tips make this guide approachable for a wide range of readers. Both teachers and counseling staff would be well served to have this title in their collection." — Booklist Autism, The Invisible Cord: A Sibling's Diary by Barbara S. Cain This award-winning book features Jenny, a teen who confides in her diary about what it is like to live with Ezra, her younger brother with autism, and her life with the most "wacky, exasperating, infuriating, amazing younger brother!" “...Cain reminds us that the experience of living with a child with ASD is not limited to parents; siblings are at the forefront of each challenge and every triumph, and they are profoundly affected as

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April Is Autism Acceptance Month 2021-04-12T17:17:17-04:00

Books to Help Your Child Develop a Healthy Self-Concept

In recognition of International Boost Self-Esteem Month, we’re highlighting some of our books to help your child explore and develop their sense of self. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone’s usual experiences and interactions have been disrupted, kids may be feeling less self-assured. These stories can help you and your child explore ways to foster a positive self-concept.   Being Me: A Kid’s Guide to Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem by Wendy L. Moss, PhD explores confidence and provides tips and advice to build it. It also provides tools to explore strengths and feel more confident in school or with friends.     Blossom and Bud by Frank J. Sileo, PhD explores body image and will help kids love themselves all around, no matter their shape or size.       Fantastic You! by Danielle Dufayet celebrates individuality and encourages children to practice self-care, including positive self-talk and self-compassion. Hear Ms. Dufayet read Fantastic You! aloud here.     I Want Your Moo: A Story for Children About Self-Esteem by Marcella Bakur Weiner, EdD, PhD, and Jill Neimark explores how it feels to not like yourself and how empowering it can be to embrace your uniqueness in a fun, rhyming picture book.     Lucy’s Light by Jo Rooks Lucy is a lightning bug and the most talented flyer in the squad. There's just one problem: she doesn't light up! A sweet story which shines a light on inner confidence, self-acceptance, and courage. Lucy learns that doing a good deed will always make you shine bright! Read a post about Lucy’s Light and fostering a healthy self-concept here.   Neon Words: 10 Brilliant Ways to Light Up Your Writing by Marge Pellegrino and Kay Sather provides writing prompts and activities to connect the word-organizing part of the brain to the free-ranging imagination. Playing with words can boost confidence and help you be more present in life. Print out sample pages from Neon Words here.     So Many Smarts by Michael Genhart, PhD explores and celebrates all kinds of smarts—nature smarts, people smarts, music smarts, spatial smarts, and more. Hear Dr. Genhart read So Many Smarts! aloud here.     Why Am I Blue? A Story About Being Yourself by Kalli Dakos Everyone is different, and accepting differences in oneself and others can be challenging. Why am I Blue explores this concept and helps children toward understanding and accepting their own as well as others' differences and similarities. Read an interview with Kalli Dakos here.   Nurturing a healthy self-concept is a life-long task. Sharing books and talking with your child about this process can help them learn to recognize their strengths and build resilience.

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Books to Help Your Child Develop a Healthy Self-Concept 2021-02-22T20:01:11-05:00