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

Help Your Child Create and Maintain Healthy Friendships

Making friends and maintaining relationships is a life-long challenge. Even people with lots of friends sometimes struggle. Helping your child understand healthy friendships and figure out what they are looking for in a friend is an important parenting task. We are pleased to share this adapted excerpt from the introduction and chapter 1 of The Friendship Book by Wendy L. Moss, PhD. This will give you a good feel for what kids will glean from the book: What are you looking for in a good friend? Many different factors contribute to having close friendships, and there are many different things you can do to maintain them. Friendships can help you feel accepted, allow you to share experiences, give you a reason to laugh and smile, and help you feel connected. Friends can also be an important support system when you need to rely on people you can trust. Some people make friends easily while others sometimes struggle. Even if you are an interesting, kind, friendly person, you may still find you want more friends than you currently have. In this book, you will read about The definition of a good friend, How you can be sure you are ready to be a good friend, and The potential joys and complications of being a best friend. In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to think about Times when you may want to be alone, Ways to compromise, survive disagreements, and navigate the challenges of friendships, and The pros and cons of socializing over social media. On your journey to knowing how to make and keep friends, take time to think about what makes you special and what you like about yourself. If you take pride in how you act, the things you do, or the talents you have, compliment yourself. As you start making new friends, consider what you want your friends to appreciate in you. Then think about what you value in friendship and how you can be a good friend to someone else. Best of luck in finding, keeping, and enjoying your friendships! Chapter 1; Seeking Friends What do you want from a friendship? How much of your time do you want to spend with friends, and What kinds of things might you enjoy doing with others? A quick quiz and profile of a kid and how he views friendship in Chapter 1 get you thinking about how you view friendship. Next you get to make a friendship checklist including activities you want your friends to enjoy and qualities that you seek in a friend. No matter what interests or qualities you seek in a friend, there are a few key things everyone should keep in mind when making new friends. Always make sure that they have the same major values as you, such as how they treat others and how they treat you. Spend time thinking about whether they would make you comfortable or uncomfortable. The friends you choose should respect you. Make sure you feel good about

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Help Your Child Create and Maintain Healthy Friendships 2021-02-10T16:20:05-05:00

Pooka & Bunni: Interview with Jennifer Zivoin

Siblings can have complex relationships. They love each other, but sometimes they irritate each other, too. Pooka & Bunni explores the bond between sisters and how a big sister can still learn something new from her little sister. Here's an interview with the author and illustrator of Pooka & Bunni, Jennifer Zivoin, about how she created this book and other titles for Magination Press. Magination Press: What was the inspiration for Pooka and Bunni? Jennifer Zivoin: Pooka & Bunni was inspired by my daughters, who were ages 4 and 8 when I wrote the book.  I was actually working on a completely different manuscript which was just not coming together.  Then, one day while my older daughter Olivia was at school, my younger daughter Elyse started playing with Olivia’s Lego creation and broke it.  She tried to put it back together, but when Olivia came home, she could definitely tell that all was NOT as she had left it!  This sort of scene would play out in my house almost every day:  Elyse idolizes and loves her big sister, and Olivia is loving and inclusive to her sister, but sometimes the age gap creates conflict. MP: Do you have a sister or brother? JZ: Yes, I have a younger sister AND a younger brother! MP: Pooka & Bunni is the first book you’ve written and illustrated. How was that different from illustrating a book that someone else has written? JZ: When I illustrate a book by another author, the framework for the story is already there.  My job as an illustrator is to add to the storytelling through imagery. However, with Pooka & Bunni, I created this book the exact opposite way of how a book by another author would come together. I think in pictures, so instead of the text coming first, I illustrated the entire book without words. Then, I wrote the text for the pages to fill in any gaps in the storytelling.   MP: What was the hardest part of making Pooka & Bunni? What was the most fun? JZ: The hardest part of creating Pooka & Bunni was coming up with the designs for the characters. Pooka and Bunni are based on my own children, but they also had to be their own unique selves as characters, and their looks and designs had to reflect that. In early sketches, Pooka and Bunni were going to be rabbits, but I just could not get their personalities to shine through, and they kept looking like animal caricatures of my daughters. Then, once I threw all structure out the window and went with monsters, that is when the character designs finally started to take shape. Monsters could move and look however I wanted, and so their designs became all about communicating Pooka and Bunni’s feelings and personalities. You can tell just by looking at them what is going on inside of their heads. That was the most fun—drawing the characters in their many poses and expressions! Every time

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Pooka & Bunni: Interview with Jennifer Zivoin 2021-02-03T14:15:24-05:00