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Meet Magination Press Author Frank Sileo
From Sketch to Book at Magination Press: Sue Cornelison


Welcome to Circus Town, where it's okay to bumble, stumble, and fumble. But no put downs! Give yourself a break! Everyone makes mistakes!

Join Ringmaster Rick, Larry the Lion Tamer, Polka Dot Patti, and world-famous trapeze artists Juan and Juanita as they practice more, ask for help, think helpful thoughts, and bounce back from mistakes and mishaps to feel more confident!

Includes a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers with more information and strategies for fostering self-confidence in children and helping them develop positive feelings and beliefs about themselves.

About the Author

Frank J. Sileo, PhD, is a New Jersey licensed psychologist and the founder and executive director of the Center for Psychological Enhancement in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He received his doctorate from Fordham University in New York City.

In his practice, he works with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Since 2010, he has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey's top kids' doctors.

He is the author of four children's books: Toilet Paper Flowers: A Story for Children About Crohn's Disease, Hold the Cheese Please: A Story for Children About Lactose Intolerance, Bug Bites and Campfires: A Story for Kids About Homesickness, and Sally Sore Loser: A Story About Winning and Losing, which is the Gold Medal recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award.

He speaks across the country to children and families. He has been published in psychological journals and is often quoted in magazines, podcasts, webcasts, radio, and television.

You can learn more about Dr. Sileo on his website.

About the Illustrator

Sue Cornelison has loved to draw since she was young. Now that she is grown, Sue illustrates in her "Tree Top" art studio in her backyard in rural Iowa. Together with husband, Ross, she raised six children.

When she is not drawing and painting, she coaches trampoline and tumbling and feels blessed to be in her element.

Past projects include Sofia's Dream, You're Wearing That to School!?, Ten Turtles on Tuesday, the award-winning "Howard B. Wigglebottom" series, and the "Bitty Baby" series for American Girl.

She works in a variety of mediums, including digital and oil. The illustrations for Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town were created digitally.

Reviews & Awards
  • Silver Medal, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards
  • Gold medal winner, Mom's Choice Award

This is another important book for parents to have at home and for teachers to put on their bookshelves to help boost self-esteem in children. Well done!
Children's Books Heal

All My Stripes, Stickley Sticks to It, Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town
These three titles will help readers learn some valuable life skills. Relying on minimal text, with important words in bold, Stickley introduces children to a frog whose feet stick to everything they come into contact with but who learns the importance of persevering despite obstacles. Circus Town describes a circus whose performers are suffering from flagging self-esteem but who become more self-assured through the encouragement of Ringmaster Rick. All My Stripes focuses on Zane, a zebra who fears that others in his class will ostracize him for his "autism stripe" (a mark over his forehead that denotes his condition) but who, with the help of his supportive mother, learns to accept himself. Bright, cartoonlike illustrations differ from book to book but are cheerful and upbeat, while the writing is simple and accessible, if purposeful. All titles include notes for parents and caregivers on the subjects, strategies for helping children cope, and web resources.
School Library Journal

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town is a great lesson in self-confidence for children. It is also a good reminder for us parents to not beat ourselves up unnecessarily. It has great talking points as well. Thanks Dr. Frank!
—Jason Priestley, actor, director, father

Children putting themselves down is one of the hardest habits to break. Kids think their parents only think the best of them, because they are their parents, when in fact every child has the potential to accomplish anything they are willing to try hard enough in. Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town is an amazing book for any parent who is sick of hearing their child call themselves stupid, dumb, weak, etc. Author Frank J. Sileo does an amazing job using circus characters to describe how no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes we just have to practice more to get the job done. This is a book parents should have on their child's bookshelf, no matter what age.
—Portland Book Review

Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town has a wonderful message that makes you stop and think about how you could help your child and perhaps even yourself. It deals with self-confidence, one of the most serious challenges in life. The Circus children who are overcome by making mistakes are re-taught by Ringmaster Rick to face those mistakes and believe in themselves. Hurray! Polka Dot Patti falls off her bike and loses her bowling pins, but she doesn't give up. She works hard and prepares for the show. Larry the Lion Tamer realizes anyone can make a mistake and tries again. Dougie the Dog Trainer learns that putting yourself down is almost like bullying yourself. At the end of the book there are serious in-depth notes to parents by psychologist Dr. Frank Sileo explaining how self-confidence works and how it affects every moment in life. Dr. Sileo's book was a treat to read. The illustrations are great, colorful and fun.
—Bob McGrath (Bob from Sesame Street)

Dr. Frank Sileo has scored yet another hit with Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town. Like the young circus performers in the story, most of us can remember a time when our own self-confidence had slipped a notch or two, and we can also remember what it felt like. With sensitivity and skill, Frank offers a clear perspective on a concern relevant to so many kids today. Better still, he offers real-life, doable solutions to young people, as well as special tips for parents, teachers and other caregivers. Don't Put Yourself Down in Circus Town is a great book with an oh-so-timely message.
—Dr. James Sutton, Psychologist and host of The Changing Behavior Network