“A Day at the Races”
Suitable for early readers (4-7-year-olds)
Welcome to the third book in the Kiki and Friends series. Out on the racetrack, our intrepid furry friends find themselves in the midst of adventure once again and face challenges that will test their courage. But fear not, for they are feline brave and their engines are roaring to go!
What’s it about?
Kiki and Banjo enjoy a day out at the Silverstone racetrack with Edgar, Allan and Poe. After an accidental tumble, what promised to be a relaxing fun day turns out to be an adventure beyond their wildest dreams. With a touch of cat genie magic and a whole lot of Kiki power, the 5 intrepid cats have the ride of their lives.
This book is purr-fect for 4 to 7-year-olds who love to read fun stories featuring clever cats and fast cars. Bonus: How to be Paw-some: 9 lessons at the back of the book to help you discover just how much of a brave hero/shero you really are.
How to Be Paw-some
9 lessons to help increase children’s self-belief, move them out of their comfort zone and be brave:
- Think BIG: aim high
- Believe you can
- Don’t give in to self-doubt
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Be ready to try something new
- Learn more skills: clever cats rule
- Get active: fuel your brain
- Be a part of something
- Learn the cat-walk
Why is self-belief important?
Kiki wants children to be courageous and brave so they can live life to the fullest. If you don’t try, you’ll never know just how amazing you can be. If you stay scared, you’ll miss out on new experiences that will help you grow, feel happy and make your life more fulfilling. Cats may have 9 lives, but we mortals just have one. Why not have a go at these 9 lessons to make sure it is paw-some!
Low self-esteem can lead to anxiety and depression
According to the NHS, “If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging. In the short term, avoiding challenging and difficult situations might make you feel safe. In the longer term, this can backfire because it reinforces your underlying doubts and fears. It teaches you the unhelpful rule that the only way to cope is by avoiding things.
No parent wants that. Enter Kiki and Friends’s world to help move your child into a place of living and involvement. Let your child feel part of something bigger than them. Help them experience the world and all the wonderful experiences that await them.
HOW KIKI + FRIENDS HELP YOUR CHILD
Inspiring them to think big
Banjo wants to be a winner. He didn’t think: “Oh I’ll just try and maybe I’ll come in third.” No! He wanted to come first. That kind of thinking can really drive your child forward. And if they do come third or fourth, they have more experience when they try again next time—not to mention even more drive to succeed. This is not a characteristic to be frowned upon. Wanting to win is the opposite of complacency. And we know that complacency leads to: lethargy and an “I don’t care” attitude, which can be very harmful to children’s self-esteem. Even a seemingly harmless “I don’t mind” attitude already lowers their sense of self-worth.
“He dreamt he was a real racing car driver and that he won the race at Silverstone.”
Getting them out of their comfort zone
Inside your comfort zone it’s cosy and warm, so when you’re out of your comfort zone, it’s normal to panic or be worried. Your body is sending signals to your brain saying: “Yikes, this is new, I don’t know what I’m doing. It could be dangerous.” The brain will then trigger off all kinds of warning systems to you and others, like sweating, you give off a different smell, your heart beats faster. Just like Banjo:
He was panicking now. This wasn’t how it happened in his dream. In his dream he was a slick super racing driver. In real life he didn’t have a clue what he was doing.
But you know what, after you’ve done it once it’s not new the second time and all the warning symptoms calm down, so it gets easier every time.
The power of self-belief
If you see yourself failing, that is what you will aim for. Believing you can do something is half the battle. You have already imagined yourself succeeding so you just need to go through the motions.
He was on his own now. Because he thought he could race like a winner, he did race like a winner…straight across the finish line. First.
Seeing a positive outcome, having that vision to aim for helps your child to make it become a reality. It is the desire to achieve something that makes it happen. Kiki and friends had a great day at the races because they didn’t give in to fear and self-doubt. They went for it, saw themselves as winners and became winners—in more ways than one.
Tap into Kiki’s paw-some powers to help inspire your child to feel good about themselves.
SUMMARY OF THEMES AND STORY
Chapter 1 At the Manor House
Being active. Thinking outside the box. Gratitude. The cats are enjoying themselves in the garden. Poe and Banjo get stuck bouncing on the trampoline. Kiki saves them with a new move. Lord Byron treats them to a day at the races to say thank you for getting his sons out and away from the TV screen.
Chapter 2 At the Racetrack
Trying something new. Using initiative. Being brave. The 5 friends are enjoying the sounds and smells at the racetrack. Whilst they are ogling a race car, Banjo accidentally falls and lands on 5 race drives. They are knocked out cold. The 5 decide to take their places as the race is about to begin—even though they can’t drive!
Chapter 3 At the Start Line
Being selfless to help others. The power of self-belief and perseverance. We see the race through Banjo’s eyes. At first he is worried but then he feels confident and goes on to win the race. Of course, Kiki the “cat genie” played a helping hand here in her usual selfless way. But now Banjo has gained new confidence and actually did win on his own at the end. They have to make a quick escape as the drivers wake up. Kiki creates a distraction with a hot dog stand.
Chapter 4 At Home
Dream big. Lord Byron is not pleased with them lying to him about what they did and although he says it was dangerous and foolish, he does applaud them for having the courage to go ahead with their plan. Banjo confesses he didn’t win the race by honest means… he believes the “cat genie” helped him. But Kiki, and you, know the real reason: Big dreams, a little Kiki power and a lot of self-belief.
Self-belief is the tonic that quenches the fire of fearAll that matters is that Banjo believes he can, then anything is possible.
Yet again, by working together, this new group of friends has gone out of their comfort zone, enjoyed themselves and are eager, like the reader, for their next adventure!
Further ways to help raise your child’s self-esteem
This section is more for parents/educators. It explains why the author wanted to address the subject of self-esteem. Children with low self-esteem often:*
- Have a negative self-image
- Lack confidence
- Find it hard to make and keep friends
- Feel lonely and isolated
- Tend to avoid new things and find change hard
- Can’t deal with failure.
- Tend to put themselves down
- Are not proud of what they achieve
- Are constantly comparing themselves to others.
Here are some things Kiki does that really help insecure children. She:
- sets an example of having a positive attitude when faced with challenges.
- encourages them to try new challenges.
- helps them set goals and make plans for things they’d like to accomplish.
- lets them know they should not be afraid to voice their ideas and opinions.
- promotes an I CAN attitude: “yes I can do this,” instead of “I can’t do this”.
- helps children discover and develop their talents.
- inspires them to get involved with voluntary or community projects.
*Source: Young Minds