Keep Smiling, because Life is a Beautiful thing and there is so much to Smile about.”Marylin Monroe”

Once a writer is dealing with many issues then writing habit comes to a halt. So much energy is wasted in tension and worry because life engenders issues that humans, (writers included, here) seem unable to solve. As months go by and time shrinks life still plays games and as usual doesn’t seem to cooperate and offer answers. That moment is the AHA! moment, when the human -writer we are discussing finds out that he/she has to have a chin up, show Faith and continue the writing journey.

All these previous months I was reading on different sites about time handling, postponing to write, anxiety adorned with excessive stress, blocking writers to express themselves and go on their set goals.Once I made the decision to have my monthly post I stumbled upon articles having the title: Understanding the way I feel. Then I realized the people around me are compassionate and think of me but I need to understand the way I feel! This kind of revelation woke me up! Because

(enjoy & download the Lesson plan from https://heartmindonline.org/resources/lesson-plan-the-way-i-feel) has to be the one related to

Feelings are difficult to decipher especially for a teacher like me, when my day is spent helping parents and kids to find a way to interpret their own ones! While teaching others on learning how to examine their feelings and understand their meaning, I forgot to leave some space free for examining and exploring the feelings created when writing takes place.

” Being alert and engaged is the ability to manage and direct one’s own feelings, thoughts and emotions. In general, the ability to be ‘present’ and to exercise self-control.” The above motto found on Heartmindonline site is the best reminder to be alert and always try for the best.

The books I chose to present in this Rock Post remind us feelings and carry specks of optimism. Enjoy reading them and let your feelings show you what comes next. There is always room for changes and new beginnings while being faithful to your past and to your inner voice. Till next Rock post take care, read a lot and think of reading your favorite book to kids in open spaces so they express their feelings in abundance.

Sometimes I’m Bombaloo!

The feeling of anger or frustration running out of control can be downright scary for kids. Katie’s temper makes her feel like a totally different person, and Bombaloo, who uses fists and feet instead of words, is a frightening person to be. Fortunately, firm but caring people in Katie’s life ensure that Bombaloo gets both the time to calm down and the love that she needs to turn into Katie again. And once that happens, Katie knows she can find ways to make up for the mistakes she made.

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings

Sometimes my heart feels like a big yellow star, shiny and bright. I smile from ear to ear and twirl around so fast, I feel as if I could take off into the sky. This is when my heart is happy.

Happiness, sadness, bravery, anger, shyness…our hearts can feel so many feelings! Some make us feel as light as a balloon, others as heavy as an elephant. In My Heart explores a full range of emotions, describing how they feel physically, inside. With language that is lyrical but also direct, toddlers will be empowered by this new vocabulary and able to practice articulating and identifying their own emotions. With whimsical illustrations and an irresistible die-cut heart that extends through each spread, this unique feelings book is gorgeously packaged.

Today I fell silly and other moods that make my day!

From silly to angry to quiet and sad, this little girl goes through them all…and is reassured that moods come and go, and that it’s okay to feel what you feel. An interactive page at the end that asks “How do YOU feel today?” comes complete with a wheel that allows you to change the expression of a face’s eyes and mouth. This light, fun book is written in exuberant rhyme that lends itself to being read aloud.

A smart Girl’s Guide:Worry

Every girl worries from time to time. Maybe it’s an argument with a friend, or a big test, or a performance in front of a crowd. Maybe it’s her body. Maybe it’s even something fun, like a slumber party or overnight camp — or something really big, like moving away or her parents’ divorce. For many girls, even small worries can take on a life of their own and get in the way of enjoying life. But this book will help take charge over your worries. You’ll learn tried-and-true ways to overcome fears and create a sense of calm. The book is packed with proven techniques for handling worry and creating confidence — freeing you to be the girl you’re meant to be.

My Happy Life.

Even if kids have more than one reason to be sad,  it’s important for them to know they can move forward despite it all. Dani’s first days in school are brightened by a new friend…until Ella moves away. Dani wonders if she’ll ever get over feeling sad about her lost friend, but remembers that, even though she was deeply sad after the mother died, she eventually found other ways to be happy again. This early chapter book handles difficult subjects with a gentle and optimistic touch, perfect for reassuring kids that they can make it through their own struggles.

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“Where Am I From?” Enjoy my review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

A tweet on May 1st, 2016 as an answer to Maritza M. Mejia, #LuzDelMes http://www.luzdelmes.com/ldm.php?ldm=books is the reason for becoming a reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Book Day, at first place! Three years later I am the Global Co-Host for Greece, https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/ and that’s an honor!

Celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day is an awesome way to connect people from all over the world and I am really happy to know so many wonderful #Greekwriters. I was so curious to trace Elisavet Arkolaki and talk with her, and here I am reviewing her unique book “Where am I from?”I hope you enjoy this beautiful book and get inspired as I did! You may consider my review long but believe me, the Artist, Platon Mortis, Platonas-Πλατων https://www.facebook.com/platon1997/, as well as Elisavet Arkolaki, have done an exceptional work!

Book Title: Where am I from? – World’s 1st graffiti illustrated picture book for children, in the making! Crafted for children roughly from 3 to 8 years old artist Platon Mortis, Platonas-ΠλατωνAuthor Elisavet Arkolaki, Malta MumPublisher Joanne Micallef, Faraxa Publishing:
The book I am reviewing this year is the very first graffiti illustrated book for children and it will be published in the summer of 2019! When Maria Kamoulakou referred to Elisavet Arkolaki, the Greek young woman who had this brilliant book project idea, I got smitten and I knew I had to find more about her.

Elisavet (aka Liza) had the idea of writing a story that gives a universal answer to the burning question “Where am I from?”, and to combine it with street art illustrations. The story portrays children from different racial backgrounds, living in countries from all six inhabited continents. The children gather together and try to find a universal answer to the burning question Where am I from? an answer which isn’t true just for them but true for everyone. The writer launched a Kickstarter campaign in July 2018 to bring this book to life and they raised about 10,700 euro. In fact, all the book characters will be painted based on real children, a mum, and a baby from the backers themselves who commissioned the art, and all except one are of mixed cultural backgrounds. How cool is that?

The writer, a real traveler of the world, living in Thailand while this review is written for the European winter months, she has experienced herself multicultural societies and their cultural identities. She has lived and worked in 6 different countries while also spending a good amount of time traveling. How did she choose which countries and how many to include in her book? Here is the answer Elisavet gave me:

“Where am I from? is a fairytale for young children so I’ve kept it short and sweet. I chose countries from all 6 inhabited continents. The choice was made based on countries that are dear to me like Malta and Norway where my children have been born, countries where friends of mine have been born or live in like Venezuela and Nigeria, and others like China that I would love to visit one day. I felt the words would flow nicely within the story with this choice of countries and that the graffiti art would be captivating. 
Australia is where the seed for this story got planted. Many years back Roy, my husband, and I were backpacking and while in Australia, during a bus ride, I was listening to a local radio station. A journalist was asking tourists from where do they come from. I heard all sorts of cities and countries until he approached a mum and her young boy. He asked the boy ‘So, where do you come from?’. The boy replied the obvious, ‘I come from my mum’s belly’. It must have been in the autumn of 2009. I never forgot that phrase. What I obviously didn’t know back then was that I would use it in the future as a starting point to develop a children’s story.”

Elisavet writes about the children of this world spreading a message of Unity and Solidarity. What appears as a simple question, “Where Am I from?”, can be quite complex for someone of a mixed cultural background. As the young child reads the book, a feeling of unity and harmony comes together, leaving a sense of connection. The book’s message is so powerful. Just try to think of how many kids from various countries use their country’s cultural bond to show their Uniqueness and Similarity at the same time! This World of ours is so much in need of our Children to feel the Love and Acceptance of Diversity, our Oneness, so that Communities and Countries tie better together with their common pursuits, and raise the future Citizens of the World. Whatever the distance and the miles, one thing remains the same and children find that out after reading Elisavet’s beautiful writing. They know they are the piece of a Thread connecting and keeping the Globe’s Kids together. This is what I like the most, the idea of being together and feeling accepted of who we are no matter our country(ies) of origin.

This book deserves every praise. Elisavet, not only did she run a successful Kickstarter campaign (you can read more here about what has been achieved so far, like securing funding and being endorsed by 3 public sector institutions, one in Norway and two in Malta) but she literally wrote one more book, the essential guide ‘How to Raise Confident Multicultural Children’ with full chapter contributions from professors, psychologists and experts in the field, which was given as a free gift to our community during her Kickstarter campaign. https://www.kickstarter.com/…/where-am-i-from-worlds-1st-st…

She also had the fantastic idea of collaborating with a graffiti artist, Platon https://www.facebook.com/platon1997/ who makes use of his street art to share messages with the world, painting his murals mainly in Athens, Greece. In this case, a European capital city will host in her walls and will embrace a children’s book with a universal message of peace, unity, and acceptance, hoping to make a lasting impression in people’s minds.

End of May 2019 – Platon will complete all murals.

End of July 2019 – the book production will be finalized.

August 2019 – the book will be printed, mailed to the Kickstarter backers, an official book launch in MaltaI would also like to share with you some of Elisavet’s words that really hit an emotional chord in me:

“Words and paintings are the physical expressions of ideas. Art is what makes us human and being human is a political act itself. Street art, in particular, is a tool for asking the difficult questions and expressing concerns on crucial matters for the society which is on par with the story. ‘Where am I from?’ brings home the concept that we are more alike than we are different. What better way than a picture book with a universal theme and positive message, packed with lovely street art, to introduce such concepts to our young ones?”

As for the artist, Platon’s belief is that: ‘A work of Art is found between the sound and silence, the endless possibilities a palette offers (sound) and the free disposal of an empty wall (silence). In every essence, a work of Art constitutes an Action through which and by which sound and silence help speech to crystalize.’

Exclusive offer only available with Where am I from? pre-orders:● 1 Hardcopy + 3 ebooks:● How to Raise Confident Multicultural Children, a 40 pages guide written with the input of professors, psychologists, and experts in the field,● The Magical Land of Sunny, a short story, and● Filling the Parcel, a short story.

The eBooks will be sent to you shortly after you preorder Where am I from? here: https://bit.ly/2ATXBAn
Join the Facebook group ‘Elisavet Arkolaki’s Behind The Book Club’ to follow this book’s journey.


Here are some great diversity and tolerance quotes for kids:

“In diversity there is beauty and there is the strength.” – Maya Angelou “Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.” – Anonymous

“Different is beautiful –The Happy Soul Projecto Difference is of the essence of humanity.”

“Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” John Hume

“Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” – Mikhail Gorbachev

“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?” – Pablo Casalso

“We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don’t make us weak. They’re the source of our strength.” – Jimmy Cartero

“When I see you through my eyes, I think that we are different. When I see you through my heart, I know we are the same.” – Doe Zantamatao

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreauo

“United we stand, divided we fall.” – Aesop (620 -560 B.C.)

“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” – Kofi Annan

“The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.” – Thomas Berry

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” – Jimmy Carter

“We all live with the objective of being happy: our lives are all different and yet the same.” – Anne Frank

“Religions are many and diverse, but reason and goodness are one.” – Elbert Hubbard

“The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.” – Donald Williams


http://www.inspiremykids.com/…/great-quotes-kids-diversity…/Articles worth reading and sharing in order to further promote cross-cultural understanding!
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/…/how_students_benefit_fro…Various programs to familiarize with diversity and have families interconnected with it as well as their childrenhttps://www.parenttoolkit.com/…/teaching-kids-ages-5-8-to-r…
● Cultural diversity and children’s wellbeinghttps://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/…/why-culture-matters-childre…http://www.aldenhabacon.com/13-tips-how-to-talk-to-childre…/“I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. But they’re really saying I love you”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-T6aaRV9HY

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents, and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on boardMedallion Level Sponsors Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org. Super Platinum: Make A Way Media GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press, SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls, BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul,Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on boardHonorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini, Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm,Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana andA Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing,Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Claudia Schwam, Lori DeMonia, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE. Co-Hosts and Global Co-HostsA Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms,Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read,Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media!MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party.

GO HERE for more details.
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: https://wp.me/P5tVud-1H Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians, and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom…/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.
About Multicultural Children’s Book Dayhttps://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/https://twitter.com/MCChildsBookDayhttps://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay/https://www.instagram.com/readyourworldmcbd/https://gr.pinterest.com/prag…/multicultural-books-for-kids/

Happy reading with Multicultural Children’s Books for an awesome 2019!

Every New Year, a new word comes out as my power word. Hope is a word of great importance to me. Kindness is another one. Patience is the Key Word, in my life’s Path. 2019 is a catalyst year in my life. There is so much going on every day that keep me worrying but Books and Writing keep me busy as a bee! Being away from my blog, because of heavy workload made me search for the right words to write. Then I thought I love all the words! Meeting Greek Children’s Writers and making new friendships was the best thing to happen to me, the last two months. I am so touched by the Greek & American Greek writers, who support MCBD. Here you have the chance to meet the first group of MCBD REVIEWERS for the first time! Sotiria Kyrmanidou, Anna Prokos, Angeliki Pedersen, Demetra Lecourezos, Alethea Kontis, Βησσαρία Ραμμοπούλου, Peggy Fourka, Foto Skorda, Jenny Koutsodimitropoulou, Ioanna Skarlatou, Nikoletta Skalkou, Giorgos Boubousis, Αργυρώ Μουντάκη, Αλκηστη Χαλικιά, Βαγγελιώ Κονδάκη Καραμέτου, Elisavet Arkolaki, Millie Slavidou, Maria Kamoulakou, Allexia Brewer.

https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/multicultural-reading-resources/diversity-book-lists-for-kids/ who participate as reviewers, plus those who donated books either to our School’s expanding library or sent them to Greek Schools in America. https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/sponsorship/sponsorship-info/authors-donate-a-book/

I wish I could do more to bring people together and make Greek customs & Language known. My involvement in other writing projects, my School commitments plus the initiative Greek Children Read & Write, all happening the last six months didn’t give me the chance to be fully dedicated to MCBD. Being a Global Co-Host for Greece https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/ is a great Honor. I feel both overwhelmed and excited!

Books with diverse topics that I truly Love will be presented in this post, dedicated to Multicultural Children’s Book Day, celebrated every year in January. https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yamulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

With warmth and wisdom, this inspirational book takes a heartfelt look at language and how children use words to encourage, forgive, express gratitude, heal, and love. Through charming illustrations and Warren’s engaging text, young readers will understand how words can change their lives and the lives of those around them.

In a series of simple yet evocative questions, this impactful book asks children how they will show kindness and consideration for others. Written by the editors of Pajama Press, and illustrated by celebrated Pajama Press artists, these stunning pages inspire meaningful discussion and storytelling about the understated yet powerful ways in which children might influence the world around them. A World of Kindness goes beyond mere rhetoric to examine, in a child-friendly way, everyday social interactions where a kind word or act could have a transformative effect on others.

Kaya is looking for her heart song – the song that happy hearts sing. Her search takes her on a journey deep into the jungle where a broken down carousel waits for a very special song to make it turn again…A story about mindfulness and listening to your heart.

Children living in different parts of the world see very different things when they gaze out of their windows. One child looks out over a boulevard lined with palm trees, another sees a train whistling past snow-capped mountains, and another waves to her father as he tends to their garden. But while their lives may seem different, there’s something important that they all share. This beautiful book will spark readers’ curiosity and imagina­tion with its celebration of global diversity.

Lila has just moved to a new town and can’t wait to make friends at school. But on the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is black like a crow!” The others whisper and laugh, and Lila’s heart grows as heavy as a stone. The next day, Lila covers her hair. But this time, the boy points at her dark skin. When she covers her face, he mocks her dark eyes. Now every day at school, Lila hides under her turtleneck, dark glasses, and hat. And every day when she goes home, she sees a crow who seems to want to tell her something. Lila ignores the bird and even throws rocks at it, but it won’t go away. Meanwhile, the great autumn festival is approaching. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever. At her lowest point of despair, a magical encounter with the crow opens Lila’s eyes to the beauty of being different and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.

With our 24/7 news cycle and constant access to the latest headlines, the world can be a scary place. Now imagine you’re a child trying to make sense of it all! That’s where books from the Children in Our World series can help. Each book uses relatable comparisons, carefully researched text, and striking illustrations to help kids understand the many difficulties that children just like them face in the world today. In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: “What does it mean to be a racist or intolerant?” and “How can I help?” Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.

There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newberry honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved—themselves!

Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal. Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

his is the day the Lord has made.
A butterfly floats through the sun and the shade,
while dragonflies flit past the flowers and trees
and grasshoppers hop in the soft morning breeze.

The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God. Paired with bright and engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming, this book inspires children to be thankful for all of God’s blessings that surround us in our daily lives. From the nature in our own backyard to the animals at the zoo, The World is Awake is a celebration of God’s wonderful world.

From historic world leaders to brilliant scientists, artists, and modern-day pioneers, What Would She Do? shares twenty-five incredible women’s stories that educate and empower. Learn about the remarkable achievements and attitudes of feminist trailblazers such as Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, and other brave women who overcame huge obstacles to accomplish great things. Featuring stunning illustrations from diverse artists, this beautiful book will inspire young readers and prepare them to face any challenge by simply asking, “What would she do?”

Participating in Multicultural Children’s Book Day can be the best gift for any new or well-established writer who enjoys storytelling and Loves tells stories to nourish kids’ imagination! Till next week’s Rock Post, more surprises to follow on that amazing Celebration of writing and Books. Yiassou from Greece! Keep posted on Facebook/Instagram https://www.facebook.com/MulticulturalChildrensBookDay/

https://www.instagram.com/readyourworldmcbd/

7th Festival of Story Telling in Athens, Greece!

This past weekend I was so lucky to attend the 7th Festival of Story Telling & Fairy Tales in Athens, at the House of Fairy Tales
Children can enjoy workshops on storytelling, theater, fairytales, legends, while teachers and storytellers teach the art of storytelling encompassing a wide range of activities, craft making and endless projects to spread storytelling not only with  Greek stories but also with stories from all around the world.
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Although the site’s page is only in Greek, it has amazing workshops all year around and thanks to Evi Gerokosta, Violeta Solidaki, Giorgos Evgenikos, storytellers, writers and contributors the Festival was one of a kind! I had the opportunity to attend an exceptional workshop on writing Fairytales that an amazing Greek writer Argyro Pipini presented. She’s such a sweet person and the translator of many picture books written by American writers. 
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I was thrilled to have books like Migrant used as Mentor Texts. Argyro made me feel instantly the lyrism coming from the sweetness of the words! It was a three-hour nonstop travel to the magic world of writing!
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I felt that I traveled to many places with the number of books that were included, as well as the illustrators’ work had a different force to touch my senses! Colors, words, that carry the aroma of another era, this has to be a writer’s work, according to sweet Argyro Pipini.
Till next Rock Post, dream and write with dragons, princes, and queens, in a magical journey full of light!

One scoop, two scoops, Life is here, enjoy it before it melts!

Well, yes, I am busy, super busy, while everybody else is enjoying the Greek hot summer on the beaches and Aegean islands, having fun and tonnes of ice cream. I am jealous and I wish I could enjoy my cones of flavored ice cream, around Greece but when life gives you lemons you make lemonade the saying goes and cold lemonade is perfect for hot weather, indeed! When life brings too many lemons at once then it seems so difficult to write on my blog, be there for my critique buddies, whom I adore by the way, and have that carefree mood, all summer long while teaching, too!

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Wouldn’t it be better to have some nice rounded scoops of everything happening at once? I am sure you agree on that but the opposite happens. Most of the times we have to scoop and dig out tonnes of sand to find our way out of predicaments. One thing is for sure, you do know where to look for a big scoop of ice cream to ease your worries. Summer Ice cream shops have the best flavors kept for you, all over the places you visit.

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If you and your kids crave for ice cream cake ideas well don’t miss the chance to visit this fabulous blog, Omg! it’s the best place ever to have videos and 40 recipes to enjoy summer ice cream cakes for any occasion. You have all year round to try them! Emily Manning the coffee-loving Editor of MyKidsTime, has written this super duper blog article. https://www.mykidstime.com/food-and-recipes/fun-ice-cream-cake-ideas/

What about reading to your kids about ice cream? Here are some of the books I would like to have on my bookshelf! Don’t miss the chance to get one from your local bookstore or borrow from your library. Reading and eating ice cream is the best way to enjoy the summer. Till next month’s Rock Post, have fun on the beach, laugh out loud and get loads of scoops of ice cream!

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Sam’s Sundaes is far and away the best place on Jelly Bean Street to get your favorite ice cream flavor! One day, five animals dash through the door, hoping little Sam Sundae will whip up the ice cream treat of their dreams. Stinky blue cheese for a mouse, fish finger ice cream for a cat, squirmy wormy ice cream for chicken, muddy ice cream for hippo, and daisy/grass/dandelion ice cream for cow all seem like excellent choices for each ice cream dreamer. That is until Gorilla walks in and asks for the most surprising choice of all! This delightfully wacky book will have kids howling with laughter and asking for more, more, more of this deliciously funny story.

 

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Dear Grandpa,
Summer is going well. I am very busy. But don’t worry, I am not forgetting about school! I read every day. I practice my math facts. And I am even studying world history!

Peter Sís’s delicious tongue-in-cheek vision of summer dishes up the whole scoop on everyone’s favorite frozen treat and proves that ice cream is every bit as enriching for the mind as it is for the taste buds. Readers everywhere will be begging for seconds and thirds!

 

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Did you know that immigrants to Ellis Island were served ice cream as part of their first meal in America? Or that George Washington spent more than $200 on ice cream during the summer of 1790? Learn all about the cool history of everyone’s favorite frozen treat in this fun, fact-filled

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It’s just another summer day until Teddy visits the new ice cream shop in town. Magically, he enters a kingdom of ice cream fountains, whipped cream lanes, and volcanoes that erupt with vanilla fudge! In this land of frosty treats, Teddy rules as the Ice Cream King. He can eat as much ice cream as he’d like, sail an ice cream sea, and even zoom to an ice cream moon. But something very important is missing. What could it be? Dig into this delicious adventure that serves up a gentle lesson in sharing!

 

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Splat and his class go on a field trip to an ice cream factory in this delectable I Can Read the book from New York Times bestselling author-artist, Rob Scotton. Splat can barely sit still during the bus ride. He’s imagining the mountain of ice cream he thinks he’ll get to eat! But when Splat gets there, that mountain becomes more of an avalanche. It’s up to Splat and his classmates to save the day!

Beginning readers will practice the –eam sound in this easy-to-read addition to the Splat series. Splat the Cat: I Scream for Ice Cream is a Level One I Can Read the book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

 

 

When a kid Stutters, Mutters or Mubbles, well really Matters!

Saints for students with learning difficulties.

We meet people in our life, even online, because of Divine intervention and this happened with Charlie Riggle,  https://charlotteriggle.com/saints-students-learning-difficulties/  I was asked to contribute to Charlie’s Blog with a post so we both agreed on writing on how I get the strength of teaching students with learning difficulties. For more interesting articles don’t miss the chance to visit Charli’s blog. Thank you, Charli for this great opportunity to write about my life-transforming experiences, in the life of others.

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Guest post by Agatha Rodi

I am a teacher in Patras, Greece. I teach English and French, but I feel blessed because, for the last 6 years, I have had many students with dyslexia, autism, issues with working memory, short-term memory, stuttering, and ADHD.

It’s a real struggle to transform those students’ mind into a working wheel, but it is possible, do believe that! Children must be taught how to hold on to pieces of information, to restore and retain information using both auditory and visual memory.

There are special prayers according to the Greek Orthodox religion that offer enlightenment and help both the teacher and the students to perform better. I have experienced that many times, and I know for sure how the saints offer consolation. They are the best example to have in mind when undertaking the task of teaching students with learning difficulties.

Here are some of the saints I consider as my guides to my teaching work. I hope you get inspired and blessed by reading about their own struggle on confronting life.

Be inspired and don’t hesitate to teach students with special talents. They will surprise you along the course of time, and you will feel how much they changed you as a human being. The impact is huge. It feels like they train you for becoming stronger and more charismatic as a person.

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“Mother Mary the Cryssafitissa consoles those with psychological issues.”https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/05/panagia-chrysafitissa-of-monemvasia.html

Nancy was an extremely difficult student because of her combination of issues. She had severe dyslexia and short-term memory issues with excessive anxiety. She was unable to cope with decoding and processing auditory information.

Instead, she repeated everything I said. Her mother, a professor, gave her own struggle. I had my own part as far as the English language is concerned.

I prayed to Mother Mary to soothe Nancy’s soul and get the right instruction to help Nancy keep spelling-sound rules active while working her memory, at the same time.

She’s been my student for the last 5 years, and I have learned so much while contributing to her self-confidence in language learning. There was not a specific framework to follow, but constant research to find ways to see her succeed in her learning goals. She is the third best student in her class in Senior High School and a Certificate holder in the English Language.

Prayer is the key!

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“Saint John of Kronstadt”

“I could not sleep, and I still failed to understand anything I was taught.I still read poorly and could not remember anything I was told. I became so depressed I fell to my knees and began to pray. I don’t know whether I had spent a long time in that position or not, but suddenly something shook my whole being. It was as if a veil had fallen from my eyes, and my mind had been opened, and I remembered clearly my teacher of that day and his lesson. I also recalled the topic and the examples he had given. I felt so light and joyous inside.” https://oca.org/saints/lives/2000/12/20/103598-repose-of-st-john-of-kronstadt

More than 10 years ago I was introduced to an Autistic teenager, Dimitri. I was told he had dyslexia! You see, parents try to hide the real problem because either they feel embarrassed or are discouraged by their own struggle.

Dimitri appeared to be unaware when I talked to him, but he responded to sounds and had a mathematical way of explaining everything. I had to remind him what was said and then have a transition to another topic. Teaching him was like having a lecture and a debate including any question as if I participated in a Quiz Show! He was impulsive and had a great sense of humor, most of the times being caustic!

Saint John of Kronstadt was my refuge every time I had to teach Dimitri and explain to him how to keep time and focus on written exams. He managed to take a diploma in English language and now he studies to become a physiotherapist.

 

“The hope of the hopeless or Saint Ypomoni””

St. Ypomoni was a bright and illumined person, endowed with many talents, which she “traded” with wisdom and prudence and gained much, managed with virtue, asceticism, and endurance to reach a hard to scale measure of virtue.http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.gr/2009/05/st-ypomoni-patience-righteous.html

I have Saint Ypomoni’s icon at my office, and I ask her help almost every minute. Her name means Patience, and students of broken family backgrounds of any kind seem to test my own patience every minute. They are rude and provocative. They never listen or accept guidance, because they are used to indifference, have excessive freedom and no boundaries.

You may wonder why I accept students like these. In Greece, as the owner of a school, I am not required to accept students. But I discover their difficulties after many incidents take place or the students come to confess their own troubles and serious family issues.

Moments like these I only ask for patience, and Saint Ypomoni blesses me and them especially. I get so much patience to work with them, to not give up. Their improvement has changed them as human beings making them stronger than ever before!

 

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Saint Fanourios

Saint Fanourios, who lived during Roman times, went up bravely against the idolatrous world, for the Christian spirit of this man of God did not allow him to deny his unquestionably virtuous principles. Thus, the 12 tortures that the Saint suffered constitute for us a strong motivation for perseverance and adherence to the moral values of Christianity, to come out victors from the incessant struggle of unbelief and injustice of our time.”

Many years ago I had a student named George. He was a quiet, indifferent student that never caused trouble. He had dyslexia and dysgraphia but that time back, it was my first years as a school owner. I didn’t think of him seriously, and I admit I thought he was idle! I paid attention to his family’s sayings about him and not to him!

Although he studied at a Technological Institution, our paths crossed thanks to Saint Fanourios! He helped me with his phenomenal ideas and I helped him perfect his language skills. This incredibly talented student of mine, George, is a charismatic teacher and has developed all his learning weaknesses into a unique tool to transmit knowledge, empowering every single student’s learning capacity. I feel so blessed for playing such a role in a student’s life-transforming him into a brainy teacher, full of values and endless possibilities!

A teacher’s duty

Teachers have the duty to understand the concept of constant improvisation when dealing with students facing learning difficulties. Don’t hesitate to be flexible and willing to change for your students’ sake. Teachers are lifelong learners. We need to have an excellent understanding of human behavior and gain experience interacting with charismatic students. Think of how different these students’ life could be without our own interference. Now, ponder how you have changed as human beings, what great lessons these students have taught you!

Don’t reject students because of work pressure and personal issues. We are teachers and we have a role to play in other people’s lives. Someone was there for us as kids in Primary school, his mere attention and suggestions led us to be the teachers we are today! Our skills have to be made known to those who have the need to survive and thrive. Faith is the magic word to make the impossible, possible!

About Agatha Rodi

Agatha Rodi was born in Patras, Greece, where she currently lives. She is a School owner, and teacher of Foreign Languages, specializing in children with learning difficulties. She writes on her blog on children’s books and she has been published in the AOIS21 annual online literary magazine (2015) for her rhyming e-book, “Amelie Gets Busy.” She writes nonfiction Pbs, Fiction, and Romance stories. Reading books and writing, dogs and chocolate keep her company!

Read More

St. Phanourios and the Missing Cell Phone: I’d heard many stories about St. Phanourios before I had my first encounter with him.

The Giant Cookie Test: It’s often hard to figure out whether a child with special needs won’t do what you ask, or can’t. The giant cookie test is a way to figure it out.

St. Stylianos, Guardian of Children: St. Stylianos was always willing to help moms with their children. He even got his fellow hermits to help him run what amounted to a daycare center.

 

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. “Helen Keller”

Being absent from my blog for two months made me feel so stressful on how to find time to tackle an endless list of issues, have free time to think what really expresses my mood and write about it. When things seem so wrong or hard to solve positive thinking can only lessen the overthinking while allowing those beams of light to get thru the crevice bring tonnes of hope and empowerment.

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Smiling to the sun is another way to strengthen your attitude and be surprised of the messages you are going to get. Difficulties are always present and Kids especially feel so weak to deal with or share most of the times experiencing unbearable pain and embarrassment. The thing is whom to trust to talk to or even choose to express inner feelings and thoughts. Being a teacher for 19 years now, I have discovered that kids talk when you approach them, explaining your intentions plus show those beams of light, reducing uncertainty when you teach positivity and hope.

It’s hard to share and explain your inner thoughts but the most difficult part is to share the burden.Imagine how helpless kids feel. Calmness and positivity are obtained by systematic work with ourselves, so don’t give up to yourselves, no matter what the struggles are, do bring kids closer to you, make them realize how strong they already are. Kids mimic our ways, they believe first in adults and then in themselves. Inspire your kids and students, cultivate positivity, teach them to be strong at rough waves. Positivity alters and gives place to good thoughts to spread.

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Till next Rock Post, enjoy the books I chose for you. Have fun, liven up every moment of the beautiful spring around, don’t miss the chance to go out to nature and roll on the grass! You’re a kid after all!

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Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough  (Author, Illustrator)

In the inimitable world of Jez Alborough, some dogs do fly – and little pups everywhere are encouraged to dream big.
Do dogs fly?
Is it true?
One day, when Sid is walking to school, he suddenly gets a happy feeling. In fact, he feels so happy that his paws lift off the ground, and he floats right up to the sky! He can’t wait to tell his friends at school, but of course, they don’t believe him. “Don’t be daft,” scoffs Ben. “You’re a dog, and dogs don’t fly.” Even Sid’s teacher shakes her head at him. Now Sid is one unhappy little pup. Can anything ever get him flying high again?

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You Can Be Anything! By Gary Craig (Author, Illustrator)

The lyrical and charming verse in You Can Be Anything! encourages young readers to believe in themselves and their dreams. With its heart-warming text and spirited illustrations, it is the perfect picture book to inspire children over and over again.

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On My Way To A Happy Life by Deepak Chopra  (Author),‎ Kristina Tracy  (Author)

What if you could teach your children 7 lessons that would help them on their way to a happy and successful life? With Deepak Chopra’s On My Way to a Happy Life, you can do just that! The ideas found in this book are the most timeless laws of the universe, presented in the simplest of terms for young children. When kids understand the way the world works from a spiritual point of view, it makes it easier for them to navigate through it with joy and love and happiness.

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The Invisible String by Patrice Karst  (Author),‎ Geoff Stevenson (Illustrator)

“What kind of string”? They asked with a puzzled look to which Mom replied, “An Invisible String made of love.” That’s where the story begins. A story that teaches of the tie that really binds. The Invisible String reaches from heart to heart. Does everybody have an Invisible String? How far does it reach, anyway? Does it ever go away? Read all about it! THE INVISIBLE STRING is a very simple approach to overcoming the fear of loneliness or separation with an imaginative flair that children can easily identify with and remember. Here is a warm and delightful lesson teaching young and old that we aren’t ever really alone and reminding children (and adults!) that when we are loved beyond anything we can imagine. “People who love each other are always connected by a very special String, made of love. Even though you can’t see it with your eyes, you can feel it deep in your heart, and know that you are always connected to the ones you love.”

 

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Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss  (Author, Illustrator)

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”

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The Three Questions [Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy] by Jon J. Muth  (Author)

What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? Nikolai knows that he wants to be the best person he can be, but often he is unsure if he is doing the right thing. So he goes to ask Leo, the wise turtle. When he arrives, the turtle is struggling to dig in his garden, and Nikolai rushes to help him. As he finishes work, a violent storm rolls in. Nikolai runs for Leo’s cottage, but on his way, he hears cries for help from an injured panda. Nikolai brings her in from the cold and then rushes back outside to rescue her baby too.

 

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