Thursday, October 16, 2014

MusEffect Stands Up to Cyber Bullying in this Powerful Clip

October is one of my favorite months of the year, not just because of Halloween (although that is a big part of it!) but also because it is a month for raising awareness about several very important issues. In addition to being the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness, October also serves as National Bullying Prevention Month.

Bullying has always been a problem, especially with kids and teens, but with the rise of social media and other various forms of technology a new kind of bullying has also risen- cyber bullying. Access to cell phones and the Internet in school as well as at home has created an atmosphere where bullies can thrive because it rids of the face-to-face conflict and allows people to bully anonymously. Proper use of social media and technology is a beautiful thing, but cyber bullying is a serious concern for today’s kids and teens. Because of this, it is important that we work towards preventing cyber bullying and this starts with awareness of the causes as well as the detrimental effects behind the issue. 

MusEffect, a non-profit company that highlights current issues through performance, decided to take on this difficult task and contribute towards the spread of awareness through the creation of a public service announcement. 

Choreographed by Muse founder Jessica Starr, the clip features a group of talented young dancers to the powerful words of poet Azure Antoinette. The extremely moving short film provides a peak into the world of painful world of cyber bullying and I encourage everyone to watch it and share with others!

Click below to watch: 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Reminder of Why We Wear Pink in October

October is not only the month for spooky costumes and apple picking but it’s also the month dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Students, athletes, and organizations across the country are going pink this month to represent and support breast cancer survivors everywhere. 

To join to fight against breast cancer, staff at ONCEKids has dedicated themselves to “thinking pink” for October. But this concept means so much more than just a color. So although we love and participate in the idea of pink, I want to remind you the purpose behind that (awesome) color. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created to spread awareness and encourage steps towards prevention of the disease that affects 1 in 8 women during her lifetime. It was also created to support, encourage and inspire hope in those who are currently battling breast cancer or who have recently overcome it and their loved ones. The color pink symbolizes hope, unity, and a common cause: to overcome the disease that more than 12.4% of women fight. Integrating pink into our daily lives reminds women fighting breast cancer that they are not alone and that there is hope. In 2011, more than 2.6 million women fought and won their battle with breast cancer. 

So while “Pinktober” remains an amazing idea, lets not forget why and for whom we are going pink for in the first place. Some breast cancer fighters have expressed concern that in the sea of pink, the message behind Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been drowned out. So let us remind these strong mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends that behind all the pink the message stands clear and stronger than ever- the key to prevention is awareness and this month we will be dedicated to spreading that awareness to everyone around us. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ONCEKids Shares Pictures From This Year's Orange County Children's Book Festival

On September 28th, OnceKids joined over 150 other authors, illustrators, and publishers at the 11th annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival. The festival was created by Barry Ackerman to promote literacy and a love of reading in children everywhere, a message that still stands strong today. Since it’s inception in 2004, the festival has grown substantially, with over 130,000 attendees this year. 

OnceKids was so excited and honored to have our beloved author Eileen Wacker and her amazing Fujimini Adventure Series featured at this year’s event and it could not have been more fun! 

Scroll below to see some of the photos from this year’s festival:

1. Setting up our booth!

2. Prepping for the big day!

3. Author Eileen Wacker and two of our amazing actors

4. Early on in the festival

5. Blue Penguin and our new friend share a high five

6. Our first visitors!

7. More high fives!

8. One of our biggest attractions of the day- Face painting! 

9. Our new adorable friend

10. Lia from OnceKids is ready!

11. Another great shot of author Eileen Wacker with actors Anita Vora and Jason Richter

12. Cassidy getting ready to rock out in our Blue Penguin suit!

13. Author Eileen Wacker

14. Little fans get a sweet surprise from the Blue Penguin

15. Author Eileen Wacker signs her new book for a fan

16. A snap shot of the main stage from the OC Book Festival!

These are just a few of the many photos from our awesome weekend at the Orange County Children's Book Festival! If you weren't in attendance for this year's festival make sure to make an appearance next year and experience what is becoming one of the largest children's book festivals in the country.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

All Female Group 'The Mrs' Wants Women Everywhere to Know They Are Enough in this Powerful Video

A touching video is going viral across social media mediums right now with a powerful message behind it. The all female group The Mrs wants women everywhere to know that they are beautiful on the inside and the outside, that they are love and appreciated, and that they are always enough. 

Watch as a group of women stand in front of an interactive mirror and are asked how they feel about what they see in the reflection. Most of the women respond with something along the lines of “okay”, “not great”, “hot mess” and so on until the voice behind the mirror steps in to show them how wrong they really are. 

Watch the moving video and join the fight to let the people you love know that they are enough just the way they are.

Click below to watch and get your tissues ready!

Emma Watson Changes the Game With Her Powerful Speech on Feminism to the U.N.

Last weekend at the U.N. headquarters in New York City, Emma Watson delivered an incredibly passionate speech regarding the controversial topics of feminism and gender roles in our society. But with her recent launch of the “HeForShe” campaign, Ms. Watson doesn’t intend to just talk about feminism but actually begin to take action. 

Her speech attempts to dissolve some of the stereotypes that are often associated with feminism, such as the idea that it is a man hating group that calls for female superiority. She reminds us that the true definition of feminism is the desire, not for superiority, but equality among both genders. She invites the male gender to stand up and join the fight for equality, not just for the sake of women but for the sake of all people. With her development of the “HeForShe” campaign, Ms. Watson hopes to abolish the “us versus them” mentality and bring us all together to fight for a common cause. 

It is a long speech, but I promise you it is worth the time. Her words rendered me speechless and filled me with the hope and confidence that change is coming and that we can all work together to make that change happen.

Click below to watch the incredible, powerful speech that brought a room full of world leaders to their feet:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is Truly Outdoing Themselves This Year

Every year the Orange County Children’s Book Festival provides an exciting day for children and their families filled with a wide variety of activities, but this year they are truly outdoing themselves. Not only is this year expected to be the biggest so far, with 39,000 attendees expected, but it will also feature the most activities. 

Attendees will have a chance to be surrounded by a “melting pot” of some of the most talented illustrators, authors, and publishers. Purchase books on the spot from your child’s favorite author and personally ask the writers any questions you have. In addition, there will be over 100 authors available for book signings and autographs. Six different stages are located at the festival where authors will perform live readings of some of their newest or most popular books. 

But for the 2014 festival, the fun doesn’t stop there. This year’s most beloved movie is coming to the OC Festival too! One of the Storyteller Stage performances will be a sing-a-long rendition of Frozen’s “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, bringing the movie’s magic to life before a live audience. 

Other performances include a puppet show of the classic fairytale, “Thumbelina”, as well as Miss Mouse, Swallow, the Ugly Toad, and Mr. Mole. 

After the Storyteller Stage, children and their parents can migrate to the Illustrator Stage, where they can get in touch with their creativity by participating in drawing lessons taught by professional artists and cartoonists. 

After learning to draw like a professional, kids can get become acquainted with their wild side by walking through the Wild Animal Stage, which includes a free petting zoo and a showing of exotic birds. 

Parents who love to cook or want to learn can bond with their children during the Cooking and Health Stage. Renowned chefs will be present to teach parents some quick, easy, and healthy meal ideas that the whole family will love. 

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival was created in 2004 based off of the idea of spreading a love of reading to all children, and that idea is still very much present in the festival today. So many people come together on this day to create a magical, fun, and educational environment that all children can open up their minds, hearts, and imaginations in. 

OnceKids is incredibly honored and excited to be able to be a part of that mission this year. So stop by and spend some time in the World of Fujimini Island at Booth 50 for a while during your adventure at the festival!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Join OnceKids at the Annual Orange County Children’s Book Festival

This upcoming week on September 28th, the only children’s book festival in all of California is taking place. Over 39,000 attendees are expected this year, making it the biggest one yet! Families with children of all ages come to meet and buy books from the the 150 authors, illustrators, and publishers that will be there. And this year that list includes OnceKids

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival was created in 2004 with a vision of increasing literacy and a love of reading in children. We at OnceKids, strongly support and believe in this vision, so we could not be more thrilled to be able to be a part of it this year. Author of our beloved Fujimini Adventure Series, Eileen Wacker, admires the dedication and level of commitment made to reading by Orange County and the Corporate sponsorship required to keep this event coming back every year. 

We are excited to announce that at this event we will be launching Ms. Wacker’s seventh addition to the Fujimini Adventure Series, Blue Penguin and the Sensational Surf, as a multi-media book. It will be available in print, ebook, animated app, and dvd. The first six books will be available as well for families to buy and enjoy!

Escape for a little while and enter the Fujimini World at Booth 50, which will feature a variety of fun and exciting activities. Parents and children can watch our YouTube interviews regarding reading trends and discussions about the characters in the books, and get their picture taken or interview Jason James Richter, Anita Vora (two of our amazing actors), and author Eileen Wacker. But the fun doesn’t stop there; kids can get their face painted or temporary tattoos, play our latest game app, Fujiscene, or color in our special coloring corner. The actors and author of the animated books will perform a live rendition of the “Making of the Animated Book”, where children will laugh and learn about how our latest animated book was created. 

Join author Eileen Wacker on September 27th at the Hilton Hotel for a “Pre-Event Cocktail Hour”
Join us for gifts, conversation, and a toast to the Orange County Children's Book Festival.
Actors Anita Vora and Jason James Richter will also be present to meet and greet fans, answer questions, and talk about the animated books. 

The Pre-Event will take place at the Hilton Hotel on September 27th from 4:30 to 6pm.