Monthly Archives: June 2016

Oprah

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Oprah

When her given name of Orpah proved too troublesome to pronounce, her family began calling the new baby “Oprah.” We’ll never know for sure, but that initial alteration seems to have inspired a lifetime of world-changing decisions.

From her legendary breakout in the film The Color Purple to the Oprah Winfrey Network to her book club and magazine, Oprah Winfrey is an astonishing media success story. Her name and face are instantly recognizable across the globe, but it is her philanthropic heart that is most often spoken of.

From humble and at times traumatic beginnings, Oprah rose above the assumptions of the day to exceed beyond anyone’s expectations. A woman of color, born in the mid-50s to unmarried parents, she seized her fate with both hands, seeking a degree in Speech Communications and Performing Arts and taking steps to gain and ultimately transform her own talk show.

The rest isn’t yet history, but it is historic. Oprah was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and has earned numerous awards, titles, and “firsts.” She has used her influence and wealth to fund charities, schools, and scholarships, and was instrumental in pushing Congress to create a nationwide database of convicted child abusers.

Big hearts make big decisions, and there is no doubt that Oprah Winfrey will continue to do exactly that. Here at Little Pickle Press, we’re excited to share the story of our own big-hearted heroine, Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Louisa

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Louisa

Running races, climbing trees, and writing melodramas for her friends; these were the pursuits preferred by Louisa May Alcott during her early years. Not content to be pigeonholed into society’s view of proper ladylike behavior, Louisa chose instead to follow her heart.

A writer early on, Louisa used her stories to give vent to a vivid imagination, creating exciting tales to entertain her sisters and their friends. By the age of fifteen, she knew that the world would hear of her, and vowed, “I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!”

Determined to help her poverty-stricken family, Louisa sought work. Society in the mid-1800s offered few opportunities for women seeking employment, limiting them to positions such as seamstress, governess, or servant. Louisa took whatever jobs that she could find, and wrote in every spare moment.

At the age of twenty-two, in 1854, Louisa published her first work. Flower Fables was followed by other pieces, and her thirty-fifth year saw the publication of Little Women.

The rest is history.

While her personal wealth is irrelevant, Louisa certainly achieved two of her goals. She was happy, writing enthralling tales and poetry, and she is still famous, having created immortal characters beloved the world over.

Here at Little Pickle Press, we love Louisa’s characters, and are always seeking more who will inspire and entertain. One such character is Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl.”

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s “The Wedding Planner’s Daughter” series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety On Trips

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 on Trips

Travel is a time when we are dealing with many changes, and children need to know what to do if there is a problem. You can:

•Make a Safety Plan for how to get help everywhere your children go. What will each person do if you get separated? What if someone bothers you?

•Agree on the safety rules about different kinds of transportation. The rules on an airplane will be different than on a boat, which will be different at a rest stop on a long car trip. Talk about boundaries like where it is safe to go and where it is not safe to go without checking first.

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.

Malala

#RoarLikeAGirl with: Malala

When you’re thirsty, you grab a glass of water and drink. But what if your thirst is for knowledge, and satisfying that thirst is now a crime? Rather than accept an unjust fate, Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai raised her hands and voice to reclaim what had been stolen, forever changing the way the world looks at what it means to be “just a girl.”

With the Taliban in control of her hometown in Pakistan, Malala and many others faced the loss of numerous basic human rights. They learned to fear. Outspoken since before she could even say the word, Malala took to cyberspace, blogging under an assumed name and speaking out against the Taliban. Her activism spread far and wide, earning her Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize and a reputation as a champion of education. She also became a target.

On the morning of October 9, 2012, a Taliban operative confronted Malala and shot her in the head.

The bullet damaged her facial nerves, but not her determination to continue speaking out on behalf of children everywhere. From the Nobel Prize website: “Currently residing in Birmingham, Malala is an active proponent of education as a fundamental social and economic right. Through the Malala Fund and with her own voice, Malala Yousafzai remains a staunch advocate for the power of education and for girls to become agents of change in their communities.”

Malala is a true hero to those of us at Little Pickle Press, and even to some of our characters! Willa Havisham, from our new middle grade book, “Roar Like A Girl,” also hopes to provide inspiration to young people everywhere.

ROAR_Cover_Sept 2015

In a stunning turn of events, Willa Havisham has to leave the comfort of her beloved Cape Cod and move to Troy, New York. She’s fourteen years old and everything seems new; her questions, her ‘community rent,’ even a new boy—but through it all, she’s Always Willa.

The much-loved adolescent introduced in Coleen Murtagh Paratore’s The Wedding Planner’s Daughter series returns in this girl-empowering novel that takes readers on a journey from the comfort of Cape Cod to the newness of New York.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety In The Community

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 in The Community

Less time in school can mean more time in the community — visiting friends, going shopping, going to movies and shows, going to the library, and visiting parks. You can:

•Grant freedoms based on demonstrated skills. Before giving your children more independence, expect them to demonstrate the skills needed to manage it safely. For example, a child wanting to use public transit independently will need to demonstrate a willingness to get space between himself and a person making him feel uncomfortable; the ability to ask for help and persist, politely but firmly, until he gets help; and the willingness to get off the bus, take a different bus, or call for a ride if those are the safest choices.
•Make and practice Safety Plans. We want young people to have a picture in their minds of where safety is so that if they have a problem, they are moving toward safety, not just away from possible danger. It is normal for people to think of a familiar place or person as “safety.” However, in an emergency, we want our children to get help as quickly and as safely as they can. Role-play ways of getting help in emergencies where they cannot check first.
•Give permission to use self-defense skills appropriately. Any strong resistance will stop most assaults. However, young people often won’t protect themselves because they don’t want to get in trouble. Have a frank discussion about when it is okay to hurt somebody to stop that person from hurting you.

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.

Summer Safety Tips: Safety In Summer Programs

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 in Summer Programs

For many young people, summer break is a time to participate in fun activities with different people. These often offer new interests, new friends – and new challenges! You can:

Set up clear safety plans for pick-ups, drop-offs, and getting help. Review your clear – and, we recommend, VERY SHORT – list of people the child can go with at pick-up time without checking first. Role-play how they will follow your family’s rules about checking first. Make sure that they have or know where to find all important phone numbers.

Acknowledge differences. Meeting diverse new people can mean meeting people who are louder or quieter; who stand very close in conversation, or farther away than you are accustomed; who initiate play more subtly or in a ways that seem overbearing; or who use words and vocabulary differently than you do.Hearing that these kinds of differences are normal can ease anxiety and open the door to conversation about experiences and challenges. Discussions can lead to ideas for how to deal with those challenges. Mingled with all these new and normal ways of being might be someone whose behavior is truly causing a problem, and your talks might help uncover any potentially dangerous situation that needs adult attention.

Teach kids how to set boundaries and get help to stop unwanted touch. Most of the adults who work with kids in summer programs are wonderful! A very few have bad intentions and can do great harm. Teach kids how to set boundaries to stop unwanted teasing, touch or games and not to keep secrets about any “special” treatment – favors, gifts, time – or ANY kind of touch. Watch our new video: “Kidpower Advice to Prevent Sexual Abuse At Summer Camp & Recreation Activities” for simple steps parents can take and how to teach kids to set boundaries and get help at summer programs.

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.