5 Reasons why stories are good for your child’s health

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Why stories are good for oyur child’s health

The power of storytelling

We may watch a lot of movies and box sets, but our underlying drive is still the same as it was when we sat around the campfire or listened to granny recount tales of the old days as she rocked rhythmically back and forth in her rocking chair: We love being entertained. We love a good story. We want to be surprised, shocked, elated, intrigued and taken by the hand into a world more fantastical than the one we live in every day.

People have been sharing stories since the beginning of time, even before we had a spoken language.

Paul Zak, PhD, a neuroeconomist at Claremont Graduate University in California

The format may have changed thanks to modern technology, but our impulse is the same.

Listening to stories goes beyond entertaining your child

What many of us don’t realise is that listening to stories is actually a much more rewarding and enriching experience than flaking out in front of a screen. Why? Because we use our imagination. By applying our own experiences and thoughts to the story, we flavour it with our own being, we make it our very own. This is something Netflix cannot do – not yet anyway. We make stories our own unique experience. We colour them with our own vision, memories, smells and tastes. This not only makes the content of the story much more impactful and memorable in our brain as we are actively engaged in the process instead of simply passively imbibing the message as we gawp at the screen stuffing popcorn in our mouths, it is also makes it more personal.

5 Ways Stories Improve Your Child’s Well-being

Wow! I hear you cry, how can listening to stories be good for my child’s health?

Stories are the way we understand and make sense of the world we find ourselves in.

Clare Patey, Director of the Empathy Museum

How does listening to stories improve your child’s wellbeing?

When a child listens to a spellbinding story that captivates them, moves them, and transports, it sets off a sequence of events in the brain and body:

  1. A sense of belonging – First, their heart rate increases as their attention is piqued. As they continue listening, their brain is prompted to secrete oxytocin, the hormone known for its ability to promote bonding. Now the author is speaking directly to them- silently inside their head. The author provides the words; the child adds the images.
  2. A state of relaxation – This moves them into a state of relaxation. When they are relaxed, their blood pressure lowers, the knots in their stomach loosen, and they are distracted from worrying thoughts. Your mind is focused, engaged, no matter whether the story is happy or sad. This feeling continues after the story has finished. The relaxation effect may last up to 30 minutes after the story has ended. You were connected to another world. This connection with the characters provides a space outside of ourselves. They are open to possibilities instead of constricted in their worrying thoughts.
  3. Working through their problems – If they empathise with the content or the character(s), this can help them work through their own problems. We may even cry openly. It has a cathartic, which is very beneficial and healing.
  4. Laughter. I’m sure you’re familiar with the old saying: “laughter is the best medicine” – well it doesn’t just relax you and reduce stress. According to research, laughter has numerous positive effects, from promoting longevity to boosting the immune system. There are plenty of giggles to be had with Kiki and friends, especially with bumbling Banjo around!
  5. Inspiration, a channel for expressing themselves – Great stories and role models can inspire your child to strive become a better person. If they identify with the protagonist or other characters in the story, they can identify a new purpose or dream. This uplifts them. The character’s journey gives meaning to inner desires that children find hard to express in words.

Kiki’s stories help children become stronger.

Short stories read by children’s author, Francesca Hepton on YouTube

Because Kiki is all about confidence and self-belief, her stories bolster the image children have of themselves. They believe in themselves more. This strengthens their character and resolve. It moves them away from disempowering influences of pier pressure and comparison. Listening to Kiki’s stories is doubly beneficial for your child’s health.

Here are some of the ways Kiki and her (metaphorical) red headband of confidence can help:

  • Children relax through laughter and intrigue with plot twists and unexpected turn of events.
  • Kiki helps children identify with the characters. A wide selection – from the bumbling to the brave and clever.
  • Kiki helps children understand important life messages like being honest, as she shows that being deceitful leads to complications and hurts others (A Case of Mistaken Identity).
  • Kiki’s stories transport them to a world that is safe. They are wholesome but also spirited, progressive stories.

Inspiring self-belief, reinforcing the beauty and power of friendship with funny scrapes and mischief along the way, whichever way you look at it, Storytime with Kiki is beneficial for your child’s wellbeing. And the best part is – they just have to sit back, listen and enjoy! And you could put your feet up with them and enjoy the health benefits of listening to a good story.

Happy Parents Day. You Deserve It

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Golden parenting tips and free ebook for busy moms

If ever there was a year when parents needed to be celebrated it is this one. After all the new challenges of making your children wash their hands a zillion times a day, mastering zoom, setting up an office at home, not going out, doing your children’s homework, being friend deprived, having no social life, putting on an extra few pounds, getting really bad roots, running out of toilet paper and endless homebaking – the list is endless. You have gone through home hell, it is time to step back and bask in your glory.

Parents of the world, I salute you. You are amazing

FM Hepton – fellow parent
Free guide for parents on Global Parent Day

The United Nations set up this Global Day of Parents so that we may appreciate all parents around the world and I couldn’t have put it better myself:

Designated by the General Assembly in 2012, Global Day of Parents provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their “selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”

Parents of the world, I salute you. You are amazing

We are always telling the kids how amazing they are, but what about you? Who is witness to all your hard work and sacrifices? Oh yes, the partner that has to go through hell with you. The one you loved until the littl’uns came along and sucked up all your romantic time together! Am I being too harsh? Is it not quite like that for you? Well maybe the witnesses to your hard work could be your judgemental parents – or in-laws – always ways around with a helpful: “That’s not how I did it and my little Johnny turned out fine.” Or “Why don’t you peel the potatoes like this, it saves time. What!? You don’t boil your chicken carcass!” Then comes the condescending tut, tut or rolling of the all-knowing eyes.

It is a wearisome lonely road at times as a parent.

That’s what makes it so nice that the UN have dedicated a whole day to recognising your efforts. But wait! I hear you cry. “My kids are witness to my efforts and sacrifices.” Oh yes, sorry I should mention those little tweens who think they are grown ups filled with a merry-go-round of hormones who bless you with their mood swings for at least 3 years. Or maybe the teenager who doesn’t quite see you as human and blames you for all their hang-ups. Now you know why they say: “Enjoy them while they are young. These early years go by in a flash!” Dealing with dirty bums and orange food paste splattered on your face and walls is nothing compared to the psychological dramas that await you after they hit “teendom”, which by the way can be as early as 8 years old!

For my part I consider myself blessed. I am truly grateful for my two teenage boys. Yes we’ve had our ups and downs, but we love and respect each other. As a single mother it was hard at times, but I really feel like it was also easier.

Free ebook providing 4 ways to help loving parents manage their child's anxiety whilst balancing their work and homelife
Contact me for your free copy

Single parents – harder or easier?

It’s not always harder to be a single parent – despite what the media says. Here are some of my humorous/brief Pros and Cons:

Pros to being a single parent
  • As a single parent you don’t have to consult someone else on stuff like schools, religion, bedtimes, which toothpaste brand to buy.
  • There is no one else for your child to pit you against.
  • You can manage your own time and budget.
  • No compromising. The bed is all yours. You can do what you want!
  • You can follow your own dreams. (Not everyone has a supportive partner!)
  • Your children grow up faster and understand responsibility sooner.
  • No waste-of-time, annoying obligatory dinners and holidays with the in-laws!
Cons to being a single parent
  • It might be nice for you to have somebody around to consult and ask their opinion – for the big decisions and the little ones.
  • The children may lack another parent’s opinion or the male/female role model.
  • If you don’t like managing your own budget, you may wish you had a partner (personally I feel every parent should know their financial circumstances – it’s empowering).
  • You might find yourself doing all the chores. Read my guide – start-em young!
  • Having your child being more aware and mature can be a con for some parents who want to preserve the innocence of childhood.

The above was not meant to be an exhaustive list. Just a lighthearted bird’s eye view to give you a different perspective on things. I love being a single mum. But then again, I’ve never liked constraints. Guess that’s why I’ve always enjoyed working for myself too.

Francesca has always amazed me as she was the first woman I’d seen breastfeed while typing her reports. She’s an inspiration. A strong role model for all women.

Sam Brice – mother of 3

It doesn’t have to be hard for you either. I’m sharing some of my insider tips with you right here:

Free ebook providing 4 ways to help loving parents manage their child's anxiety whilst balancing their work and homelife
Contact me for your free parenting guide

My Golden Pillars to Easier Parenting

I have been running my own business since 2004. I started working from home when my first son was born. 20 years ago. When I realised after a year I couldn’t give the company what they needed as it involved travelling around Europe (afterall, I was the European Sales and Marketing Manager!) I knew I wanted to be at home with my kids, not dropping them off at nursery, working and seeing them when I was tired. So I made it work. It wasn’t easy, but I love my sons – that’s why I made it work. I got to enjoy being with my children whilst being the sole breadwinner as well.

My golden rules are:

  • You are in charge of the situation
  • Routine, routine, routine
  • Exercise daily outside (you and the kids)
  • Include children in your household chores
  • Specific times for work – never overlap fun and work
  • Do not drink (alcohol) every night
  • Minimise or cut out sugar and processed foods (you and the kids)
  • Sleep when they sleep
  • Plan weekly meals and shopping lists

All of these must be respected. If you don’t, the harmony of the household starts to slip. You can’t just cherrypick from the list.

If you wake up waiting for the end of the day, for a drink, for that series on the TV, then this guide is for you. Enjoy your day. Enjoy time with your children. No need to dread it. Get the guide.

If you’d like my FREE guide to learn about the 4 pillars to Calmer Parenting, contact me: Type: CALMER PARENTING GUIDE PLEASE

It contains

  1. The essential ingredients for destressing (not distressing!)
  2. 4 techniques to keep the balance in your home and mind
  3. Example daily routine for single parents who work at home

Get your guide to easier parenting here – even if you’re a couple you will find it useful! Strength in numbers! It’s my gift to you as one parent to another.

Meet Kiki the Kung-Fu Cat

Kiki was inspired by my cat. She was small, polite and sweet and she made me laugh. I wanted to immortalise her amazing abilities for my children in the form of fun adventure stories.

Kik's stories are ideal for 4-7 yrs old. She is a voice for those looking to grow in self-confidence. Which she uses in times of uncertainty, to outwit the baddies. She’s a strong beacon of calm, reliable hope.

She represents the values of kindness, selflessness and has extraordinary powers for one so small. Kiki is a voice for those looking to grow in self-confidence. Which she uses in times of uncertainty, to outwit the baddies. She’s a strong beacon of calm, reliable hope.

Meet Kiki the Kung-Fu Cat

A Day in the Life of Kiki

Morning

She wakes up before everyone else does and before the sun comes up so she can do her training.

First she meditates to find focus and calm then she exercises to remain quick and strong.

Kiki relaxing by the window

She has breakfast with Banjo helping him to be healthy because it makes him feel good and Banjo loves eating, so Kiki makes sure his breakfast nourishes his body.

They have fruit, yoghurt and sometimes a smoothie or boiled eggs, they always have milkeo.

Afternoon

Then they go for a walk or spend time reading and painting with Dali.

One thing is for sure they always end up on adventure before the day is over.

Sometimes it’s when they visit, Allan and Poe it’s when they join in with activities and events in the village of sleepy Meadow. It can also happen when they are helping others.

Kiki learning

On quiet days, she will write in her journal about her experiences and ideas. She likes to glue in tickets, flowers and bits n bobs. Banjo will join her and so does Dali. He paints pictures to go with her journal. Banjo cuts them out and sticks them in; if Piero is not busy taking a bath or doing his hair, he will also come by and sing with his guitar or tell a story.

Evening

In the evening after Kiki has finished her dinner,  one of her favourite past times is to watch the sunset. They might play charades or chess.

Kiki and Friends going for a walk

Then they will sit around the fire and laugh about all the fun they had that day, and give thanks that they and their friends are safe.

Welcome to the Kiki-verse!

Here you will find out all about the characters in the Kiki and Friends series of books set in Sleepy Meadow, a quintessentially British village where nothing really happens – unless you’re a cat!

(See below for the map)

Discover what makes them special, what makes them unique, their strengths and weaknesses. With such a diverse range of characters, your child is sure to empathise and bond with at least one! I use them to deliver messages that children are often struggling with. By bonding with them, your child is able to work through their own questions and dichotomies by seeing how the character works through their situation.

This simultaneous detachment from themselves and attachment to someone or in this case some-cat, that represents their thoughts and worries, helps them express themselves – as you know, it is not easy to put your feelings into words, even as adults!

Using stories and characters is a powerful way to help children understand important principles. Kiki’s stories touch on quite a few, here are some examples:

  • the importance of honesty
  • the value of true friendship
  • respect for yourself and others
  • acceptance of people’s differences
  • belief in yourself and your abilities
  • acknowledging your weaknesses
  • using your uniqueness as your strength
  • the world around us and our role in it

Here you will meet both the good the bad and the funny.

Kiki and Friends adventure stories

Simply click on the name of the character you want to find out more about.

  • Kiki
  • Banjo
  • Piero
  • Dali
  • Lord Byron
  • Edgar
  • Allan
  • Poe
  • Winston + Churchill
  • Tiny + Titch
  • The Major
  • Grandpa George
  • John + Jane
The Farmies from Murk Farm

Well what did you think, that it was going to be all unicorns and fairy dust in the village of Sleepy Meadow?! No way! You gotta have the bad guys. This is the balance in life. The yin and the yang. Having opponents gives us something to push against, push us to excel, get us to question our moral compass, to move outside our comfort zone and think outside the box. Plus the Farmies are a great excuse for thrilling escapades and exciting adventures!

  • Piccasso
  • Miro
  • Percy
  • Byshhe
  • Shelley
  • Cezanne
  • Rat 1 + Rat 2
  • Eye-patch Cat

Welcome to Sleepy Meadow

Our protagonist lives at Blueberry Cottage and the baddie group are from the outskirts of the village in the appropriately named Murk Farm.

Cottontail Valley is village nearby (where Edgar, Allen and Poe’s Great Aunt Mildred lives).

Storytime with Kiki

Storytime with Kiki for 3-7-year-olds

Entertaining, Educational, Empowering Stories every Monday to Thursday

As a children’s author I would like to “do my bit” for the families of Britain. The best way I can think of is to entertain the “mini troops” with stories from my books – PLUS activities based on the stories. So, I ventured out into the technological minefield of social media and set up a Facebook group where you can come join me with your children: Storytime with Kiki.

I am throwing the doors open to a storytelling session with Kiki every day from Monday to Thursday from 3pm to 4pm. I will do my best to deliver these like a virtual Jackanory-style story time session with images. If I could just tame my own cat to sit on my lap and look cute whilst I read…ha ha, not likely.

Piero supping milkeo

What are the stories about?

The heroine is a cat called Kiki. She is an ordinary cat with extraordinary powers whenever she puts her red headband on (metaphor for self-confidence). She is based off my cat who looks ridiculous when she magically scares off all cats by flailing her paws around like a contortionist! Naturally such a cat as Kiki has a lot of adventures with her friends and is a wonderful role model for children. I have therefore used my stories for conveying empowering and educational messages to our young children.

Timetable for books:

3-6-year-olds

Reading of Kiki the Kung Fu Kitten – Rhyming illustrated book

Reading of Jack’s Roar – Rhyming illustrated book

6-9-year-olds

A Case of Mistaken Identity

An embarrassing case of mistaken identity, a cat that won’t leave, and a plan filled with disguises and thrills.

“The Circus is Coming to Town”

Big surprises in the Big Top for our fun-loving cats. Kiki leads her friends through not just one mission impossible, not two, but three! A story filled with tension, trapezes and tricks. 

“A Day at the Races” 18-21 May

Wacky Races revisited. Down on the racetrack, Banjo discovers his inner champion.

“The Major” 1-4 June

A doddery old cat has more up his sleeve than the Farmies bargained for. And Kiki and Banjo discover the rewards of being kind to others.

Free online author readings of Kiki's adventure stories.
Perfect for entertaining kids under 7 years old.
Come along and make yourself comfy.

If you would like more details on a specific event please let me know. Naturally it is best if the children watch the first one to better understand the origins of the characters and story, although each book does work on its own as well.

Confessions of an author

Confession 1: I had intended starting with the 6 to 9-year-olds but the teachers are still on virtual break until the 20th of April, and they asked me to defer. So as not to disappoint, we’ll “warm up” with the books for younger children.

Confession 2: I am not here just to help entertain and educate your children, but to offer you a little respite as a parent (or educator struggling to find resources). My children are in their late teens now. As a single mother working from home for 15 years, I genuinely relate to the challenges involved in getting everything done without feeling like a peeled and baked potato at the end of the day! Use and abuse this hour of wholesome fun for your kids and, perhaps more importantly, a rest for YOU!

Join me and Kiki on Facebook every day at 3pm starting Monday the 13th of April.

Join the fun on Facebook at 3pm Monday to Thursday: Storytime with Kiki

A Positive Start for Kids

We all want to give our children a happy healthy start in life. With the help of Kiki and Friends, you can do just that.

Overview of the course

This course will help you teach young children essential life skills, become more self-confident, more aware of others and challenge them to grow.

It will walk you through 10 fundamental life skills essential for empowering children to become more positive and happy.

This is then supplemented with further resources to help reinforce their learning by way of illustrated story-books to illustrate these skills through FUN and a Personal Advancement Manual to put their skills into ACTION.

FUN and ACTION: two of the most powerful ways to learn.

Objectives

This course equips educators/parents with tools for children to develop a positive mindset to become the best they can be and be proud of it.

Content

There is a section for each of the life skills and each section will start with an explanation of the life skill and how it can be of benefit to the child.

After this there are two tasks for the child to complete. The child’s progress must be monitored and reviewed at the end of each section.

10 Life Skills

  1. – Courtesy
  2. – Self-control
  3. – Courage
  4. – Respect
  5. – Honesty
  6. – Commitment
  7. – Gratitude
  8. – Self-discipline
  9. – Goal-setting
  10. – Persistence
A Positive Start - helping you raise healthy, happy kids

LEARNING THROUGH FUN

  • Learning with Kiki – illustrated children’s books

– for 3 to 6-year-olds

– for 7 to 9-year-olds

LEARNING THROUGH ACTION

  • Personal Advancement Manual

– for 3 to 6 year-olds

– for 7 to 9-year-olds

Ending with a CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT

learning with kiki and friends

Learning outcomes

After working through the manuals and various educational aids, you will be able to help children adopt the following skills/midests/abilities:

  • respect for others
  • self-respect
  • courteous and polite behaviour
  • a sense of belonging and community
  • brave to be themselves
  • courage to resist peer pressure
  • tolerance of differences
  • managing stress and anxiety
  • setting smart goals
  • desire to achieve
  • self-confidence
  • happier disposition
  • more positive mindset
  • attitude of gratitude
  • and much, much more

Resources

1. Explanatory videos for each section/lecture

2. PDF downloads

– A Positive Start Manual (with the 10 Life Skills)

– Personal Advancement Manual (for 5 to 7-year-olds)

– Personal Advancement Manual (for 7 to 9-year-olds)

3. Educational aids:

– ebook A Case of Mistaken Identity by Francesca Epton

– Narrated video of “Kiki the Kung Fu Kitten” by Francesca Hepton

– Craft activities (colouring in, paper plate faces, etc.)

– Learning with Kiki (for 5 to 6-year-olds)

– Learning with Kiki (for 7 to 9-year-olds)

4. Certificate of Achievement

Sign up now for some FUN and ACTION: two of the most powerful ways to learn. 

Click here for the course

Kiki the Kung Fu Kitten

A beautiful story of friendship and the power of self-belief. Kiki, a little stray kitten, uses her own amazing powers to fend off a big bully and turn him into a great new friend.

This story will make you laugh and feel all the goodness in the world hug your heart.

A new anti-bullying book for children. A unique and spirited bullying book for children with a great story.

Kiki the kung fu kitten story for children

Great aid for schools, kindergartens and pre-schools.
Children love this heart-warming story of friendship.

Babili Books is proud to present this wonderful, uplifting story written and illustrated by Francesca Hepton.

Kiki the kung fu kitten - A story of friendship

Through fun rhymes and colourful pictures Kiki shows how understanding and self-belief can conquer all fears.

Also available from Barnes and Noble, Imagined Things Book Store, amazon and http://www.babili.co.uk. Audio, ebook and paperback. Even in Italian!

Mental Health amongst Children

A magic combo to help children avoid mental health issues

Martial Arts and Reading

Welcome all bookworms, and fans of martial arts. You may find this an unusual combination: reading and a school of learning traditionally associated with combat. However, it transpires that people are not fully aware of just how much Martial Arts can offer, despite all the Karate Kid movies. Perhaps more importantly the general public does not know MA advocates seeks first and foremost to avoid conflict and violence.

What reading and Martial Arts have in common

We all know that reading a good book has a positive psychological impact on children, especially if it’s done on a regular basis. The whole process improves their ability to concentrate, feeds their imagination, stimulates thought, helps them develop an independent thought process, deepens their need and thirst for knowledge. In much the same way, the training required in Martial Arts reinforces the importance of being disciplined and focused. Most children excel when they have a goal to reach. Once they learn this new skill or technique, they feel a sense of accomplishment, feeding that yearning to learn more, to develop.

Children's Mental Health issues and how reading and martial arts can help

Frightening statistics we can’t ignore

The statistics concerning the state of our children’s health in the UK is alarming. With waiting lists stretching over 10 months for 8-year-old with mental health issues, surely the alarm bells must be ringing in everyone’s ears

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%)
  • Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4 year old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Caution is needed, however, when comparing rates between age groups due to differences in data collection. For example, teacher reports were available only for 5 to 16 year olds. Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for full details
  • Data from this survey series reveal a slight increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15 year olds (the age-group covered on all surveys in this series). Rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017. All other types of disorder, such as behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders, have remained similar in prevalence for this age group since 1999

How this combo can help fight mental health issues

The magical combination of reading and Martial Arts goes even further in a child’s personal development. Both practices improve children’s ability to concentrate on a task and their endurance as they see it through to its completion. Perhaps the the biggest benefit is their boost in self-confidence:

  1. from gaining new skills and knowledge
  2. being part of a positive and engaging story
  3. feeling empowered and inspired
  4. being a part of something

Start incorporating these two activities in your child’s life today. Kiki and Friends stories can help lift your children’s spirits and sense of worth. Plus they are a hoot to read!

Fun and Adventure with Kiki and Friends: A Case of Mistaken Identity

National Children’s Day UK 2019

Children’s author, Francesca Hepton, is teaming up with local Martial Arts centre AIM to help raise awareness for National Children’s Day on the 12th of May 2019. Together we’re taking steps to help children be healthy inside and out. Come and show your support or enter our prize draw by pre-ordering the latest Kiki + Friends book.

National Children's Day UK 2019 Party at AIM Martial Arts with author Francesca Hepton

NCDUK Party 12 May 2019

A Positive Start for Children


Activities

  • 10 am Welcome introduction – brief talk on the benefits of Martial Art for children’s health + the latest book release from Francesca Hepton promoting children’s self-confidence through her kung fu kitten in the story: “A Case of Mistaken Identity”
  • 10.30 amFace painting – transform into your favourite big cat
  • 10.30 amPin the headband on the Kitty – a new take on an old game. If you’re not getting your face painted, test your skills of sense and direction and maybe win a prize
  • 11 amEarn your headband. Master Hudson will put children to the test in a fun mini martial arts session where each child can earn their own headband.
  • 11.30 amSleeping lions. A little quiet time before cake. Prizes for the best sleeping lions.
  • 11.45 amCake made by fabulous local baker and closing thank you circle.
  • 11.45 amEnter our amazing raffle. Prizes announced on the 25th of May.

Raffle Prizes

How to enter:

Simply pre-order a copy of “A Case of Mistaken Identity” and send your amazon receipt to cescahepton@gmail.com – enter the name of your local martial arts centre in the subject. so you get the right prizes!


How Martial Arts can help

Practising martial arts encourages children to look after their bodies and their minds. Every bit of training, every drop of sweat, every effort your child makes as they train reinforces the importance of remaining disciplined until they have accomplished the goal. The goal can be a new skill, balance or technique. Everything to help them develop and flourish with a focus on:

  • exercises
  • behaviour
  • manners
  • self-reliance
  • respect
  • concentration
  • social skills
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE – like Kiki!!

Giving our children the best possible start for a healthy and bright future doesn’t have to be difficult. Our bodies and minds are connected, meaning that what we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental and emotional wellbeing too.

Being fit helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times.

You can help them do this! Introduce them to this positive training and/or encourage them to read books like “A Case of Mistaken Identity” that reinforce the message or self-belief. Check out the message of the book here.

Fun and Adventure with Kiki and Friends: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Children deserve the best start

We know from working in schools that children in every class have diagnosable mental health conditions and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Whether you’re a parent, guardian or concerned adult, you can get involved and help us reach as many children as possible.

Come to our book launch party at AIM Martial Arts or find one near you. If you can’t come along, show your support and buy a copy of this amazing book. Send your amazon receipt to cescahepton@gmail.com (enter your local Martial Arts centre / town in the subject) and we’ll automatically enter you in our raffle.

Find a party near you

Media Kit for “A Case of Mistaken Identity”

A Kiki & Friends Story. Book 1:

“A Case of Mistaken Identity”

Suitable for early readers (5-7-year-olds)

An embarrassing case of mistaken identity, a cat that won’t leave, and a plan filled with disguises and thrills. Join Kiki, Banjo, and friends as they go on an adventure that you’ll never want to end.

Are Kiki’s amazing powers enough to save them from the clutches of the evil Farmies? Is Banjo cat enough to tell the truth? Will Allen be pink forever? Join them on their adventure to find out. This hilarious yet touching story is sure to bring the super-cat out in YOU too.

The first in the series of books: Kiki and Friends. Purr-fect for 5 to 7-year-olds who love to read stories with funny twists, clever plans and mischievous scrapes. Bonus: Fun Cat Fact Quiz in every book. Feline clever? Take the quiz and discover just how much of a cat expert you really are.

Promoting the benefits of self-belief from the teachings of martial arts

Here is a media kit for the first Kiki and Friends book: “A Case of Mistaken Identity“.

If you check this out it will basically save you from having to read it all – and then make you want to read it! Well, that is if you’re a child in years or at heart!

Free copy of A Case of Mistaken Identity - suitable for early readers

WHO THIS IS FOR

Are you a parent, carer or guardian of a child? Then you might already be aware of the toll modern society is taking on our youngsters.

Here are some shocking statistics (England, 2017, source NHS)).

  • 1 in every 8 children (aged between 5 and 19) in England had a mental disorder in 2017 – that is 12.8% of our young people.
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in 5 to 15-year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 to 5.8% in 2017.
  • Preschool: 1 in every 18  preschool children had at least one mental disorder in 2017 – that is 5.5%, that is too high.
  • 5.6% of young women aged 17 to 19 suffered from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
  • 25.5% of 11 to 16-year-olds with a mental disorder had self-harmed or attempted suicide

For more information on the state of our children’s mental health you can read more here.

Not only are our youngsters suffering from mental illnesses, studies have identified other areas of concern – some of which are connected:

  • lack self-esteem
  • have low self-worth
  • feel lonely
  • are overweight
  • have trouble focusing

Q&A: HOW KIKI CAN HELP OUR CHILDREN?

Kiki will help move your child from a place of isolation and insecurity to being a confident, happy and healthy individual ready to live a full life.

Kiki the Kung-Fu Cat
Kiki the Kung-Fu Cat

Q. You state that your goal is to help children believe in themselves. How can Kiki help instil self-belief when reading “A Case of Mistaken Identity”?

A. The story shows how a small unassuming girl-cat can take on any situation and use her patience, mind and martial arts skills to help her friends and outwit the bad guys – without aggression. Plus, because she’s a personified cat, the negative self-image issues of weight, etc. young girls are often victim of do not come into play here.

Q. You touch upon some important values in the book and claim the book can help children understand how important it is to tell the truth, the value of loyalty and friendship, teamwork and self-belief. Just how does it do this?

A. In this first book, young readers they will witness how the characters found strength in solidarity, by telling the truth, versus chaos, indecision and hurt when they were divided and not honest. Plus, the books will accompany them from a young age with the illustrated versions, making the characters a trusted part of their world. They will then empathise strongly with the characters as they grow up.

Q. What made you choose martial arts? Why do you think this should be promoted among youngsters when it is a form of fighting?

A. When I was growing up, I was always in awe of the likes of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. What they achieved with their concentration and physical abilities was amazing. They were like real-life superheroes to me. I experienced Martial Arts first hand rather late in life when I was seeking to recover from a dark period in my life. It gave me confidence, discipline and reward. I was rewarded with my own progress and the values it instilled in me. Even more-so perhaps by the respect and attitude of the youngsters who also trained with me. From the ninja tots to the moody teenagers, once they were on that dojo they felt empowered, they moved like well-oiled machines, showed deference and respect to others at all times and were constantly seeking to better themselves. They carried that drive and confidence off the dojo as well. With parents being increasingly busy at work and the digital world creeping into the lives of our youngsters, the framework and teachings of Martial Arts is as applicable to day as it was hundreds of years ago. Plus, it does not condone violence. On the contrary, martial art advocates peace over fighting.

Martial Arts will help resolve the problems of obesity, lack of focus and self-worth. Being part of a club will help children feel less isolated and more confident by being socially interactive. Learning new skills is something they can be proud of. They will also learn respect for hierarchy as well as improve their concentration and levels of fitness.

Q. What other unique features does this book offer young readers? Something other than the serious issues of life and growing up.

A. I deliberately used famous artists names and literary figures for a lot of the main characters, for example the 3 brothers are called Edgar, Allen and Poe. This is to help them become familiar with such names at an early age. not to mention that one of the major and most lovable characters, Piero, is Italian. The Italian culture has played a huge part in my life and I wanted to share it with as many children as possible; to help them gain an appreciation for cultures other than their own, as well.

A Case of Mistaken Identity. First book in the kiki and Friends series.

SUMMARY OF THEMES AND STORY

Chapter 1                  Banjo’s got a girlfriend! 

The importance of being honest. The themes of friendship and deceit are explored right from the outset. By trying to lie and hide things from his friend Kiki, Banjo ends up in a predicament.

The strength of friendship and loyalty. Through it all, Kiki is steadfast in wanting to help her friend. Piero is an outsider and becomes the victim of the deceit.

Chapter 2                  The 10 o’clock headache

Dealing with a dilemma – seeking help. Unsure as to what to do, our protagonists seek outside help from an older, wiser cat. He advises them to tell the truth, but Banjo is too embarrassed, instead they opt for plan B.

During their meeting with the sage cat, they enter a more sombre, literary adult world reflective of the sage cat’s eponymous, flamboyant yet melancholy poet, Lord Byron; they are also introduced to his 3 sons who are constantly gaming.

Moving a sedentary youth to be more active. A hook for parents to relate to. Lord Byron takes this opportunity to get his sons to experience the outdoors and offers our protagonists their help. A message for kids to get off the sofa!

We now have an unlikely crew setting off on their first mission together.

Chapter 3                  The crazy plan

Deceit breeds more deceit – how lying gets you into more trouble. The plan continues the theme of deceit through disguises and how this goes wrong – but in a fun way! We see how the team is starting to grow together, each with their own individual personality. The bad guys come onto stage: they are streetwise, not too menacing for the target audience but enough to play the villainous role.

Being quick and clever can help save the day – no need for violence. The enactment of the plan gives Kiki the opportunity to show the readers just how clever and quick she is as she saves the day.

Last Chapter             Back at camp

 What a tangled web of lies we weave – facing our fears. The problems are resolved in the final chapter.

The truth shall set you free. By being honest our protagonists have not only relieved themselves of their anxiety, they have also made someone else very happy and gained a new friend.

The theme of kindness and forgiveness are explored through Piero’s hurt feelings and ability to forgive.

Strength in teamwork and friendship. By working together, this new group of friends has gone out of their comfort zone, enjoyed themselves and are waiting, like the reader, for their next adventure!

Kiki the kung fu cat in action

Download  the free book to see what crazy plan our heroes have cooked up!