“Kids like me, just wanna be free, upside down, you and me!”This tune, Kika the Upside Down Girl’s theme song, is central to the story of an adventurous girl who loves living upside down in a right side up world.
Geared to 4-10 year olds, with a message that transcends age, Kika the Upside Down Girl is an entertaining and empowering story that will inspire kids to explore their unique interests, despite the pressure they may feel to conform. Some incredible upside down adventures and heartfelt explorations at home, school, outside and in a “fliptastic place” are shown in vibrant and quirky detail in this 32-page hardcover picture book.
As an Olympian, educator & Mom, I created this story to inspire kids, and the grown-ups who love and support them, to fully explore the ups, downs & upside downs of their interests and choices. Overcoming challenges and uncertainty to carve a meaningful life path continue in my life, and my hope is that Kika’s story will inspire kids to keep turning their worlds upside down in order to find fulfillment and joy in theirs.
As an Olympic gymnast, I spent well over 10,000 hours upside down, training 30 hours per week, for over a decade. I was committed to perfecting new skills and loved the feeling of accomplishment that followed. What also followed at times was isolation and loneliness – who could truly understand what I was doing? Perseverance, hard work, and the support of my parents, coaches and friends, were essential in building up my confidence, trust and resiliency – attributes that eventually led me all the way to the Olympic Games doing what I loved, which happened to be upside down!
My hope is that kids who read Kika the Upside Down Girl will acknowledge these inherent challenges, and draw on their unique strengths and support system to continue exploring what they love.
As an educator and motivational speaker, I am fully committed to motivating kids, youth and adults to uncover their passions in order to lead active, healthy, and creative lives.
As kika creative’s founder and chief catalyst, I also know how to “get good ideas done” and am excited to share Kika the Upside Down Girl’s inspiring message far and wide. Shining a light on The Benefits of Gymnastics the “ultimate human movement experience” is a wonderful outcome of this project, and something I plan to explore further in the near future.
Bringing a new kids picture book to life takes a significant amount of time, energy and resources, more than I could have known when I first envisioned reading my son a fun story about an upside down kid. My desire to produce a fun, memorable, high quality book never wavered, and I am so grateful for the amazing crowdfunding support I received through our video campaign on Kickstarter which enabled me to publish Kika independently.
Kika the Upside Down Girl, on sale on amazon.ca, is so much more than a book! The bigger goal is to start an upside down movement through presentations, readings, keynote speeches, workshops, motivational talks, hands-on lessons, and a gallery of upside down photos collected from all over the world.
Let’s inspire kids to live fully in any direction!