Kika the Upside-Down Girl by Jessica Tudos
Kika always seems to accomplish things differently than others and tends to get into trouble for it. She reminds us that choosing to be different is more than okay, and finding others to join in her upside down adventures makes her heart feel huge – especially when it involves somersaults, vaults, flips and kips! Join Kika, a girl who loves living upside down in a right side up world, on her unique journey to a fliptastic world! Kika reminds us that choosing to be different is more than okay, and finding others to join in her upside down adventures feels fliptastic – especially when it involves somersaults, vaults, flips and kips in the Gymnastics Emporium!
Kika the Upside-Down Girl by Jessica Tudos is a fun book for kids. It features lovely illustrations and important lessons. Kika is not like most of the other children. For as long as her parents can remember, she has been different – she likes to look at the world upside down. Her parents try to get her to look at the world right side up. They are concerned that she is missing out on life by not looking at it the same way other people do.
It turns out that Kika just likes to flip like the gymnasts do. She is a talented girl who just needed to be placed in the right environment. Once she is surrounded by other children who also like to look at the world upside down, her whole world opens up. She discovers what she is meant to do and how she can bring joy to other people. We enjoyed watching Kika blossom in this story. It was fun to read, and we liked how some of the words are upside down. 🙂 The illustrations are colorful and happy and really tell the story well.
Active Living for Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit by Jessica Tudos
How can we inspire kids to get, and stay, healthy? It’s such an important goal and yet, so challenging to achieve. An outshoot of Kika the Upside-Down Girl has been the re-activation in my own life of a healthier way of living, for myself and for my family.
People often ask me for advice. What sport should my child do? Are they good enough to be elite? Is it better to play a team sport or do individual sports? Should they train 10 hours per week or is that too much? (At the super elite level I experienced from age 9-17, we trained 25 hrs/week – but that is not for everyone!)
As the author of a book with a sports theme, I see the connections. What are the real benefits of an active lifestyle, as demonstarted by Kika, the main character in the book. I would say it breaks down into “Best for BMS (Body, Mind & Spirit)” – which can be described as:
1. Your Body feels right – you are “in your body” and can move efficiently and healthily, learn new skills, know your body’s limitations, prevent injuries and have endorphins kick in!
2. Your Mind feels right – you possess more clarity, focus, concentration, and ability to recall – all crucial life skills we want kids to have and adults to preserve. We reach our happy place!
3. Your Spirit feels right – you have more motivation, intention and stability to engage fully in life whether playing sports, enjoying family time, reading or dreaming about the future.
My parents recognized early on that I had LOTS of energy so they enrolled me in different sports to keep me active. Quickly I ruled out diving and skating (too cold), soccer (too many team members) and ballet (too structured). The one sport that clicked was gymnastics. After a year of recreational gymnastics my parents were encouraged to take me to the premier elite club in the country. I was scared of trying out but when they day came, all they made me do was run from on end of the gym to another – and I was in. Xoces-Eagles became my home away from home 25 hours/week from 8-17 years ols after school and home. The schedule required huge commitment and dedication from me, my parents and my coaches at a young age.
There is no way I could have kept up gymnastics and reached the Olympics without my “Best for BMS (Body, Mind & Spirit)” approach! Despite some challenging times, I loved gymnastics! I truly loved the feeling of being upside down, the challenge of learning new skills, and the thrill of competing in front of a crowd. The combination of agility, endurance, and artistry was just right for my body, mind and spirit. Today, my active approach to living remains strong. After exploring modern dance, rock climbing, and tennis, I currently enjoy yoga and interacting with my young son. My mission is to motivate as many people as I can to lead active, healthy and creative lives so that they can engage fully with all that life offers – body, mind and spirit.
About the Author
Olympic gymnast turned author, motivational speaker and experiential educator Jessica Tudos (JessicaTudos.com) is on a mission to empower kids, youth and adults to develop the confidence and resiliency required to lead active, healthy and creative lives. In organizations around the world, Jessica empowers audiences through engaging stories, insights & reflections drawn from her upside down life, including her Olympic gymnastics adventures. Jessica is a sought after speaker, facilitator and professor in experiential education, physical literacy, leadership & elite sports.
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