resilience: 3 Articles

Hidden Joys in a Pandemic: When Readers Took to YouTube to Share My Book, The Hugging Tree

One of the great joys of a children’s book is that it lives on for a very long time. Children renew the world for us all, and as each fresh year arrives there is another throng of children snuggled in a parent’s lap or their own bed, or listening intently to a librarian or schoolteacher turning the pages of a picture or chapter book and reading aloud. Right now, a child somewhere is meeting, for the first time, The Cat in the Hat or Alice in Wonderland or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And as a children’s author, nothing is more inspiring than contemplating kids around the world newly enjoying a book I wrote, especially one brought to life by lovely illustrations. As an author, most of the time, I don’t get to participate in the joy of children experiencing my book. That remains a mystery. So it was a huge surprise and thrill when I discovered in late May, that the COVID-19 pandemic, with its global school closures and sheltering at home, had inspired librarians, principals, ministers and schoolteachers to take to YouTube offering read-alouds of their favorite books, including mine. My most recent picture book for Magination Press, The Hugging Tree, was published in 2016, but from March to May of this year, it was read aloud here and abroad online by two dozen individuals—schoolteachers, principals, even a Unitarian minister. All ages chimed in, from schoolchildren reading together to a cheerful pastor with a bushy white beard. Some read by the ocean, others read with their favorite companion pet, such as a guinea pig named Mocha. I do not personally know any of the people who chose to share my book. But I know why they chose it: the book is a story about resilience, about bouncing back from adversity. The story follows a tree that begins as a seed blown onto a rocky cliff, where it tries to grow with very little soil and no greenery. The tree befriends the ocean, moon, sun and birds, surviving loneliness, harsh storms and a freezing winter. With its boughs broken, and its future uncertain, the tree is saved by a boy who visits it each day, bringing soil and flowers and water. The tree grows broad and green and tall and can shelter all the people who come each day to visit. The message: you’ll make it through tough times, if you reach out to others for help, and if you let the helpers reach out to you. It’s a message that seems to be resonating this year. Each reader had their own special take on the book. Nicole Reardon, a classroom teacher in Queensland, Australia, and mother of two young children, read beautifully with an almost theatrical cadence, and whoever filmed her reading at home in her living room offered close-ups of the memorable art by noted illustrator Nicole Wong. Nicole’s video aired on May 1 and she concluded, “Right now in our own lives it might feel

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Hidden Joys in a Pandemic: When Readers Took to YouTube to Share My Book, The Hugging Tree 2020-06-15T21:23:25-04:00

The Hugging Tree

Storms will come and storms will go... Sometimes the world can be a hard place to be. Have you ever felt like your life was a storm? Like you were being blown around by the wind and rain? And how did you feel after the tough time? Maybe like the sun came out and warmed you up? The Hugging Tree is a story about a tree that grows on a cliff near the ocean. The little tree struggles through wind, waves, and winter, but manages to make it through and grow big and strong. Hear Nicole Reardon read this Magination Press book about resilience aloud. Download the teacher's guide for The Hugging Tree here.

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The Hugging Tree 2020-05-30T09:53:00-04:00

Fostering Resilience in the Time of COVID-19: Tips for Helping Your Child

Resilience—the ability to bounce back from a difficult situation—this isn’t just something people are born with. Dr. Wendy Moss, author of Magination Press book, Bounce Back: How to Be a Resilient Kid, provides kids with exercises and strategies to build resilience. During this especially challenging time, the chapters about handling decisions, disappointments, and new challenges and about coping with unchangeable situations can be useful.  In this blog post, Dr. Moss offers insights and tips to help your child cope with the stress and life changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic.  A few months ago, most of us could not have anticipated the changes in lifestyle and the way COVID-19 could infiltrate our communities and cause fear, illness, and even death. So, how can we support children as they try to cope with staying home, not being in school or in extracurricular activities, not being able to follow their favorite sports teams, not seeing friends, and possibly knowing that all these changes are due to the presence of a dangerous virus?  This blog provides strategies to help children deal with the general stresses created by the pandemic, not specific situations such as someone they know being ill with or having died from the virus.  Focus On Yourself Children often judge whether a situation is scary, out-of-control, or manageable by watching and listening to trusted adults. As you read some of the tips to help your children, try them on yourself first so you can convey that you are able to cope with this situation that is out of your control. Support Your Child Casually talk with your children about their understanding of, and feelings about, what is happening in their world. Talk to each child individually since the conversation may end up being different depending upon their age and personality. They may have inaccurate information that makes it even more scary.   Let your children know what you and your family can do and are in control of (e.g., staying home; proper hygiene) and that grown-ups have a plan to deal with the virus, even though it will take time. Just make sure that you believe what you say before reassuring your child! Ask how your children feel about the changes in their daily activities. Some children may not be anxious because they like the extra time at home. However, some children are overwhelmed by the change in their regular routine and their fears of illness. Just being able to share these feelings can be a relief for many children. This time at home can be an opportunity. Ask your kids to share their ‘wish list’ of family activities. You can also add some. Having everyone at home can be a great time to play games, teach each other about interests, tell stories about ancestors, or make up silly stories.   Since we must physically distance ourselves from each other, this is a great time to look for creative ways to connect or reconnect with friends or family. Encourage your child to

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Fostering Resilience in the Time of COVID-19: Tips for Helping Your Child 2020-04-29T20:45:00-04:00