Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Interview with Jill Apperson Manly, author of Ahmed's Journey

I'm excited today to have Jill Apperson Manly, who stopped by and answered a few questions for us!
She's the author of...

A Story of Self-Discovery
by Jill Apperson Manly
Jabu Books Publishing
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8

Be Still. Journey Inward. Know Yourself.
We are emotions, feelings, and sensations.
Breathe into All of you, ride along with Ahmed,
and discover the most exciting journey in the world! You!

Ahmed's Journey: A Story of Self-Discovery unfolds through the eyes of a young boy named Ahmed. The book tells of the Camel Races, a tradition in Ahmed's country and in much of the Middle East.
While traveling to the Camel Races with his family and favorite camel, Jamal, Ahmed faces his fear of riding in the upcoming race. Watching Jamal calmly breathe, Ahmed finds his own breath, and in doing so he discovers he has a colorful array of emotions and feelings. By the end of the book, the reader learns that Ahmed is “grateful to be Ahmed.”


First off, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by Bookworm for Kids and share a few thoughts with us. Since time is short, let's dive right into it. 

Ahmed's Journey is a tale about a journey where Ahmed discovers himself. How important is it for kids to explore and know their own emotions? 

There is nothing more important. It is essential to learn and value who you are.

Do you think that emotional lessons can be integrated into school studies? 

Yes, Absolutely! Globally and in the U.S. we are seeing this done right now. My first book, Nothando’s Journey, is part of part of a SEL curricula created by Think Equal ( currently in 147 schools across 15 countries. The pilot program is being evaluated by Yale Center for Emotional Learning. Kids live in present. There is no better time to discuss how a child is feeling then when it is occurring. Of course, you cannot disrupt the class to deal with each emotion so therefore, it is better to have a set time within a lesson, for example in social science, to include a SEL lesson.

How did your experience teaching and studying in Saudi Arabia affect the writing of Ahmed’s Journey? 

My overseas teaching experiences with children gave me great joy. Picking stories from “far-away places” gives a different perspective and we all benefit by learning about others. It’s fun to think about riding a camel. Kids in America don’t get to do that. It is even more fun to think about racing one!

What aspects of yoga do you bring to writing children’s books? 

Yoga is seen in mainstream America as primarily a form of exercise, in my books, some of the deeper benefits of yoga or any mindful (peaceful) practice are explored.

Why is it important for kids to experience cultures different from their own? 

We are more alike than different. As we see others, we see ourselves.

What is some advice you can give to parents who have children experiencing fear and anxiety like Ahmed?

The Best advice is to have the conversation around these topics. Our children have lots of anxiety and being able to help them address their anxiety around their fears is very empowering. My website has additional resources both for the child and adult on this topic.

If you'd like to learn more about Jill Apperson Manly, you can find her...

And here she is...

Award winning Author of Nothando’s Journey, Jill Apperson Manly, releases her second book deepening the themes of exploring thoughts, emotions and sensations. Manly uses international cultural festivals to educate the reader and teach the importance of self-love. Jill is a certified iRest® teacher and Somatic Yoga Therapist. She loves sharing yoga and meditation with children and adults, coaching girls' high school basketball, and being a mom to her four children. She lives with her husband and children in Newport Beach, CA.

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