Monthly Archives: May 2016

Summer Safety Tips: Safety At Home

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Founder, Executive Director, and the author of our trio of Kidpower Safety Comics, shares skills all young people and families should consider for not just the summer, but for lifelong safety and confidence.

Safety at Home

For some families, summer means spending more time together at home. This offers an excellent opportunity to build children’s boundary setting skills and review family safety rules about what is and is not okay to do when you are at home. Good awareness and the ability to express a clear boundary can stop most problems before they start. You can:

Model effective boundary setting. If the children in your life are doing something that crosses your boundaries – perhaps by climbing or jumping on you, throwing balls in the house, or using words that you find offensive – tell them clearly and respectfully, as soon as you can. Model maintaining a boundary in the face of resistance!

Use sibling bickering as a learning opportunity. When one child is feeling upset about another’s behavior, try coaching the child who is feeling bothered to express a clear respectful boundary. Coach the other child to listen. Deal with the crossing of appropriate personal boundaries with the same firm clarity you would apply to hitting, kicking, or spitting.

Set clear boundaries about physical aggression. If your children are getting physically aggressive when they are upset with each other, stop the behavior. Direct children toward more appropriate and effective ways of managing their conflicts.

Review safety rules for answering the door or phone. Revise rules based on your children’s development of skills and possible changes in your living situation. We recommend that young children check with the adult in charge first before they answer the phone or open the door, even when a parent is home.

Update safety rules about going. We recommend that young people do not change the plan about where they are going, whom they are going to be with, or when they will be home without checking with their parent or other adult in charge first. It is important for everyone to be clear about what the expectations are.

Review and practice emergency plans. What if there is an earthquake? What if someone gets hurt? What if there is a fire? Practice safety strategies.


These skills and many more are covered in Irene’s three books,

cover of "Kidpower Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3-10

Kidpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Children Ages 3 to 10
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

Even young people have big powers. Mouth Closed Power. Stop Power. Walk Away Power. Kids—and their adults—learn how to be safe. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Kidpower Youth Safety Comics

Kidpower® Youth Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Kids Ages 9 to 14
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

How older kids can stay safe while becoming more independent. With practical tools to stay safe from bullying, abuse, and violence. Based on the Kidpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and families.

cover of Fullpower Safety Comics

Fullpower® Safety Comics: People Safety Skills for Teens and Adults
Written by Irene van der Zande and illustrated by Amanda Golert

The tools for teens & adults to take charge of their emotional and physical safety and develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Based on the Kidpower/Fullpower Safety Program that’s helped over 4 million youth and adults.


With thanks to Irene for permission to excerpt her excellent Summer Safety: Kidpower Tips For Families article.

Epic Success in Kids’ E-Book Subscription

“We were one of the first to sign with Epic!,” says Rana DiOrio, founder and CEO of Little Pickle Press, “and one of the biggest reasons is their commitment to excellence in children’s publishing.” She also cites “the pedigree of the principals” as a factor in her decision, offering that Donahue and Markosian were respected digital industry figures with a well-capitalized business plan that was not likely to be a flash-in-the-pan venture. She was also pleased about the number of Little Pickle titles Epic! solicited. “They wanted everything on our list. Some platforms like TumbleBooks or Reading Rainbow pick and choose and tell you which titles they want.”



To read the entire article, click here.

10 Lessons The Arts Teach


The evolution of one of Ken Min's illustrations for What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

Some of Ken Min’s process creating an illustration for
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

1.  The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

2.  The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

3.  The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

4.  The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

5.  The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

6.  The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

7.  The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms emply some means through which images become real.

8.  The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

9.  The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

10.  The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.

Illustrator Ken Min's self-portrait from What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?

Ken created this image of himself for
What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?
See Ken’s blog post for more!

We love Elliot Eisner’s 10 Lessons that the Arts Teach, from his book The Arts and the Creation of the Mind (Chapter 4!) There’s a nice downloadable PDF of this from the National Art Education Association here.