Stan and The Four Fantastic Powers. The First Ever Appreciative Inquiry Book for Kids
by Shira Levy, Marge Schiller, Sarah Schiller, Max Schiller
Illustrator: Stefanie Rudolph
Taos Publications, 2018
Paperback, color, picture book, 34 pages
“Crash! Swings swinging, rain pouring, monkey bars twirling! And just like that, a huge lightning bolt thundered down on the oldest tree standing next to the Lincoln Elementary School playground. The school that once won first place in Dreamer School District for best playground was now playground-less.”
Join Stan and the Playground Team on an adventure focused on strengths, imagination, teamwork, and goal setting, as they discover their own Fantastic Powers to bring the community together to dream and design the school playground’s future.
Stan and the Four Fantastic Powers presents readers with a new way of looking at their world and the possibility of becoming change agents. Appreciative Inquiry encourages the use of positive questioning, collaboration, curiosity, and creativity, using the AI 4-D cycle represented through Stan’s Four Fantastic Powers:
• ME Power: discovering strengths
• SEE Power: dreaming future possibilities
• WE Power: working as a team to develop goals and a plan
• DO Power: delivering the plan
Join Stan, Mr. Gladstone’s class, and the Lincoln Elementary School community, as they embark on their adventure!
The book was written and co-constructed by a special team of inter-generational collaborators: An AI expert and grandmother (Marge Schiller), in collaboration with her two grandchildren (Sarah and Max Schiller), a school psychologist and positive psychology practitioner (Shira Levy), and an artist (Stefanie Rudolph) to share the concepts and practice of Appreciative Inquiry with children.
For more than a decade, Appreciative Inquiry has been used in schools, often resulting in increased curiosity, creativity, questioning, collaboration, and an increased voice for students, families, educators, and stakeholders. Well-being benefits have also been documented, including increased self-esteem, confidence, sense of identity, hope, relationships, social skills, and community connectedness.
About the Authors:
Shira R. Levy, NCSP, MAPP, is a school psychologist, parent, coach, and positive psychology practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College, Master of Psychology from Towson University, and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania. Shira brings positive psychology, positive education, and Appreciative Inquiry to students and her clients, helping to create a flourishing community. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA with her husband and two young children.
Marjorie R. Schiller, Ph.D., is passionate about intergenerational learning partners: connecting wise eyes and fresh eyes. She is a thought leader in Appreciative Inquiry and its applications for schools and communities. Marge is the author of many book chapters and articles, and the co-author of Appreciative Leaders: In the Eye of the Beholder. She holds a Master of Arts degree in organizational development from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Learning Environments for Management and Public Policy. Marge is the founder of the Positive Change Core, a non-profit organization that supports strength focused approaches for schools and youth. PCC invites others to join in accelerating positive approaches to learning.
Sarah Schiller is an 8th grader at Wellesley Middle School in Massachusetts. She loves music, literature, history, and art. Stan and the Four Fantastic Powers is Sarah’s first book, and she’s incredibly grateful for this experience and for how much she has learned in the process. Sarah is looking forward to high school and future journeys in Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Education.
Max Schiller is an 8th grader enrolled in Wellesley Middle School in Wellesley, MA. He enjoys video games, the trumpet, rock climbing, and reading. Max is an optimistic teen who has been working on the book since with his twin sister Sarah and his grandma since 4th grade.
Stefanie Rudolph is an artist and entrepreneur. As an artist, her preferred media is colored pencil and pen, but she also works with acrylic and oil paint, oil pastels, decoupage, and wire art. Mainly self-taught, she studied at the Creative Arts Program at West Virginia University. Her work has been displayed at art festivals and at standing solo galleries in Baltimore. Stefanie’s art has been sold up and down the east coast, in addition to her creative advertisements and murals made for children’s spaces and commercial businesses. She currently resides in Baltimore, helping her dad run the family business, while working on personal projects.