Making Happiness a Habit: La Jollan pens positive thinking book for children

“A good day is all in your head, you decide when you roll out of bed …

There is no need to hurry and no need to rush. You’ve got a full day ahead you are going to crush …

A deep breath will be useful throughout your whole day. It can help you reset when things don’t go your way …”

La Jolla resident Jennifer Trebiovsky, aka Jennifer Universe, said she penned her first children’s book “Make It a Good Day,” to establish a childhood foundation of having a positive attitude when facing each day. And a surprising result, she found, has been the positive response from parents who are reminded of the winning attitude when they read to their children about little steps that can be taken to achieve it.

“It’s a children’s book, but it resonates with adults. The feedback I’ve gotten from parents is that they enjoy reading it to their children because it reminds them to slow down and take a breath,” Universe said. “We live in such a fast-paced world and we worry about things that don’t really matter. These little things in the book can completely turn your day around.”

Written in sing-song rhyming prose, the book was inspired by authors Universe read as a child; Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak and loved ones — her mother, grandmother, aunt and friends.

“My mom has never said, ‘Have a good day,’ she always said, ‘Make it a good day.’ It was only recently that that hit me. It always shaped my life, but recently, I became conscious of it. I realized there are so many little things I can do to make my day better,” she said.

As to why she wanted to take this epiphany and make a children’s book from it, Universe added: “I see the stress children are under now … and this lays the foundation to use your imagination, look at flowers and appreciate what’s around you. Children don’t have to succumb to the busyness they see in adults. This type of material helps kids learn early to make these behaviors a habit, and then, as they grow up, happiness will be a habit.”

While in the writing process, Universe said she would reach out to friends and see what they do to make it a good day and they all responded with different ideas. One said she sings really loudly in the car, so it inspired the rhyme: “Sing to the moon and sing to the stars. While you walk down the street, sing to passing-by cars”

Another friend goes into a “power pose” that inspired: “Put your hands on your hips and puff out your chest. Then promise yourself that you’ll do your best.”

— While available on amazon.com and jenniferuniverse.com, “Make It a Good Day” will also be sold at Warwick’s. Universe will also speak as part of the bookstore’s “Weekend with the Locals” book talks in April.

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