They Only See the Outside: Interview with the Author

In honor of National Poetry Month, we've interviewed Kalli Dakos, author of a new collection of poems, They Only See the Outside. We ask her about the process of making this book and how poetry can help children better understand their feelings and feel less alone. Magination Press: What inspired you to create this poetry collection, They Only See the Outside? Kalli Dakos: I was asked to do a collection of poems that deal with emotional issues and I thought it was a wonderful idea. I’ve been sharing poetry with children for many years now and I know that poems can help them deal with problems at so many levels – both reading and writing poems. Reading poems helps children to feel that they are not alone with their difficulties and writing poems helps to give a voice to their problems and to share their own stories.  Reading poems helps children to feel that they are not alone with their difficulties and writing poems helps to give a voice to their problems and to share their own stories.  MP: You’ve written many books of poetry. What makes this one different? KD: This is my first book that has both previously published poems and new poems as well. I was able to share some of my favorite poems from other books and to add poems on brand new topics.     MP: Are there any poets who have inspired or mentored you?  KD: There are many poets who have inspired me over the years – from William Wordsworth to Shel Silverstein to the wonderful children’s poets today who are my friends. MP: The poems in They Only See the Outside can raise many different emotions and reactions from page to page as you cover incredibly different topics, from serious to ordinary to amusing. Can you explain why this approach benefits readers? KD: Poems help children to develop empathy and compassion for the struggles that their peers face, and covering all different topics helps this exposure. And then there are the poems that strike a chord with individual children because they have experienced the feelings in the poem. I love to include longer free verse poems that can handle topics that require more text, and it is always important to include humorous poetry that gives children a break from the deeper issues, but also helps them to realize they are not alone with embarrassing situations.   MP: In this collection of poems, you explore all kinds of feelings a kid might have in diverse life experiences. In your picture book Why Am I Blue?, you explore feelings, too. How is writing a book of poetry different from crafting a picture book?  KD: I feel that most of my writing is poetry even if it is in a picture book. I always begin a picture book as a poet, with either free verse or rhyme. In the original versions, the stories are written as poetry, and then changed to picture book format, as in Why Am I Blue?

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They Only See the Outside: Interview with the Author 2021-04-06T11:39:22-04:00

Books to Help Foster a Healthy Relationship with Food

As a parent or caregiver, it feels like you are always feeding a child. Helping your child develop a healthy relationship with food is an important parenting task. In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 22-28, we featured books about food and eating that can help you with a variety of concerns.     Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: A Tale of Picky Eating and Avoiding Catastropeas by Susan D. Sweet, PhD and Brenda S. Miles, PhD Once upon a time there was a princess named Penelopea. Penelopea lived in Capital Pea, where people ate peas by the pound — pureed, poached, and pan-fried! There was just one problem. Penelopea hated peas. So she came up with a plan — but it led to a catastropea of epic proportions! Eventually, in an effort to make peas disappear from the kingdom forever, she tries just one pea…then another… then another…and discovers they are positively pea-licious after all. Includes a section for parents and caregivers with ideas for introducing picky eaters to new options and encouraging children to eat a variety of healthy foods. “Picky eaters will relate to this story, and the end notes give parents lots of great advice on how to broaden their children's horizons when it comes to eating.” —Mom’s Radius Read interviews with the book’s authors: Meet Magination Press Author Brenda S. Miles Meet Magination Press Author Susan Sweet   Max Archer, Kid Detective: The Case of the Recurring Stomachaches by Howard J. Bennett, MD Meet Max. Max Archer, Kid Detective. Max helps kids solve problems. Max's friend Emily has stomachaches. A lot of them! So, Max and Emily investigate the big three causes of stomachaches — lactose intolerance, constipation, and stress — and determine what causes Emily's stomach to hurt. Without even realizing it, Emily has been under stress, so much that her tummy feels it! Using kid-friendly stress-busting strategies, Emily learns how to get back on track and feel better. Be sure to check out the extra fun activities at the end of the book. There’s a Q&A section at the end written just for parents. “With a casual question-and-answer format and colorful cartoon illustrations, the title follows Max's explanations to Emily — and the reader — about how digestion takes place and the three main causes of a stomachache: lactose intolerance, stress, and constipation…kids will enjoy learning about basic body functions, which are references in a diagram that traces the route of the digestive tract 'from start to rather gross finish.' A final section 'just for parents' adds more.” —Booklist   Full Mouse, Empty Mouse: A Tale of Food and Feelings by Diane Zeckhausen, PhD What can two little mice do when they are chased by the cat, hounded by the dog, and threatened by the deadly mousetrap? Billy Blue tries eating more food to soothe his distress, and Sally Rose stops eating altogether. But when stuffing and starving themselves don't help, they learn to look for answers in their hearts, and

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Books to Help Foster a Healthy Relationship with Food 2021-02-23T15:13:17-05:00

No Name Calling! Books to Fight Bullying

In recognition of No Name-Calling Week, we’re highlighting useful stories about bullying. No Name-Calling Week was created by K-12 teachers and students to end name calling and bullying in schools. Children experience bullying in a variety of ways and in different places. It happens online and in person. There can be full blown name-calling and physical threats. Even more subtle, but still hurtful, slights and microagressions can cause kids some unease. Here are a few middle-grade nonfiction and picture books that can help with bullying. You can see all Magination Press bullying titles here.   Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference by Wendy L. Moss PhD Do you want to be an Upstander who makes the world a better place by standing up to bullying and injustice in your school, home, or community? If so, this book is for you! You may doubt that one kid can make a difference. You can't fly like Wonder Woman or scale walls like Spiderman, but you could be a hero to someone else by speaking up. Small changes can lead to bigger and bigger changes! Chock full of quizzes, examples, practical advice, and small steps you can take in your real life, Stand Up!: Be an Upstander and Make a Difference takes readers through the ways to be an Upstander, including being kind to yourself, having empathy for others, spreading kindness, and dealing with conflicts.   Read an adapted chapter from Stand Up!   The Hero Handbook by Matt Langdon Heroes take chances, do hard things, and sometimes even change the world. To become a hero, kids can surround themselves with supportive people, boost their self-esteem and self-awareness, find their passion, and have the courage to make things happen. This book shows them how to be the hero of their own story and discover their own hero journey. What makes a hero? Activists, advocates, allies, and friends. Sometimes heroes are our parents, teachers, or siblings. The truth is, heroes are inside everyone, and kids can and discover their inner hero, too!   Baxter and Danny Stand Up to Bullying by James M. Foley, DEd Baxter the Bunny is the fastest animal in the forest. Danny the Bear is the best dancer. Baxter and Danny like to run and dance together in the forest...until Buford Blue Jay comes along. Buford makes up mean names for all the animals in the forest. With the help of Queen Beth of the Bees, Baxter and Danny learn how to start feeling better, and help the other animals in the forest feel better too. Together, they are able to stand up to Buford's bullying! Includes a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers with more information about bullying and strategies for building self-esteem and resilience in children. Read an excerpt from Baxter and Danny Stand Up to Bullying’s Note to Parents and Other Caregivers. Ouch Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways by Michael Genhart, PhD When a bee stings, Ouch! That hurts! When your

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No Name Calling! Books to Fight Bullying 2021-01-19T12:13:59-05:00