Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BOOK TOUR w/giveaway: Kika the Upside-Down Girl by Jessica Tudos #MMBBR

Jessica Tudos
Meet 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.

Connect with Jessica:  Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook
Follow the tour and enter the #GIVEAWAY HERE

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  I am committed to motivating and inspiring kids, and the grown-ups who love and support them, to be all that they can be and choose their own direction in life – even if it is a  bit upside-down!

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

A.  Having a platform to share my ideas and story with readers all over the world. When kids read Kika the Upside-Down Girl and start showing me their handstands I’m thrilled – that is why I write!

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?

A.  Figuring out how to tell your story in a compelling & original way.  There are so many great stories and I’d like to think I can add my own unique story and images to the mix – to inspire, entertain and teach 

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?

A.  Writing is one part of my life. I have been an experiential educator for over 25 years, teaching and administering educational programs around the globe in diverse settings.  I am also a motivational speaker, sharing my mission of inspiring active, healthy & creative living for all. Being an author is an amazing addition to the mix, the challenge is finding enough time to do all that I’d like to do

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  Upside Down Girl in a Right Side Up World

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A.  Paolo Coelho’s Alchemist. I love the combination of magic, wisdom and wonder that he presents. I love that the character listens to his heart and recognizes how he can truly follow his dream – so inspiring!

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.   I connect with Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love – a real person I now, but her quest to find happiness, peace, joy and love is inspiring. It reminds me of my youthful days adventuring around the world and now settling into to being a mom with my family in Toronto – you can search and search and when you finally find “home” it feels like the right place to be.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A.  Since this is my first book, I am like Kika! The story is based on my own experience growing up feeling a bit upside down, while others wanted me to be right side up.  KIak is strong-willed and independent, and carves friendship and belonging too. Shefeels different and is determined to find a way forward doing what she loves to do – gymnastics.  Overcoming challenges and feelings of loneliness are big parts of Kika’s story, just as they are in my own life.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?

A.  My son loves Where the Wild Things Are and we talk about what it would be like to adventure by boat to the island of the “wild things” to begin our wild rumpus. Sendak’s illustrations are marvelous and his ability to bring us into his imaginative world is amazing – would love to bring it to life.

Q.  What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?

A.  Empowering people to be healthy, active and creative in all that they do – and stating the course when things get tough, finding the confidence to get through it all and THRIVE.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  I like fall – the changing leaves, the warm and cool temperatures, the fresh crisp  air – beautiful here in southern Ontario.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.  I wanted Kika to be active and upside-down, with a big smile showing readers how happy she is doing what she loves. The swinging motion, so common in children, captures the spirit of the book and Kika’s quest to be herself  and be happy.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A.  Always funny when kids are listening to me read the story and they start doing handstands and cartwheels. Parents often ask them to sit down but I encourage them to keep going and show me their upside down moves.  I always love the physical reaction the story inspires. 

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Yes! I am working on a follow up story about Kika ‘s next adventures. Now that she has found what she loves in the Gymnastics Emporium, what are some of the new challenges she faces? How do family and friends react? How does she move forward in her quest to remain upside-down? It’s exciting to think about the next chapter in Kika’s life!

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thanks for taking the time to learn about Kika the Upside-Down Girl – she is an empowering character who can inspire readers of all ages to be all that they can be doing what they love -  someone to love! 

Kika the Upside-Down Girl by Jessica Tudos

Book Details:

Book Title:  Kika the Upside-Down Girl by Jessica Tudos
Category:  Children's non-fiction,  32
Genre: children's picture book
Release date:  September 16, 2014
Available for review in:  print and ebook (PDF)
Will send books: Canada & USA
Tour dates: June 1 to 12, 2015
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

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 Unside-Down Girl
By: Jessica Tudos

This book draws the reader in right from the start with the amazing illustrations. Just looking at cover students want to investigate the book and the story inside does not disappoint. Students learn who they are by reading books; and Tudos encourages students to be who they are. Kika the Upside-Down Girl is all about being unique and not changing to be like everyone else.

This book has its place within the classroom:
  • Reading the illustrations first – facial expressions to infer feelings
  • Vocabulary development (i.e. escapades, awe)
  • Reading the punctuation
  • Types of print and playing with the words on the page (location)
  • Message
  • What makes each of us unique

Just holding this book makes me smile. The smooth, glossy pages, fun illustrations, and page layouts are astonishing. It is fun to watch my young readers glide their hands over the pages and grin from ear to ear as they turn the book to follow the print on the page while nodding their heads in agreement with the message of this book. I truly hope there are many more books about Kika’s adventures to come! 5 stars!

Buy the book:   
 ~  Chapters-Indigo  ~   Barnes & Noble


  1. Thanks for the FLIPTASTIC review Emily! I hope other teachers take you up on your recommendations! SPOILER ALERT: Other handstanding words are included in this somersaultilicious story!

    Kika fans - please send me your #upsidedown photos to jessica@kikacreative.com for inclusion in our online international upside-down gallery at: JessicaTudos.com/gallery


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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