The first thing most people notice about Laura Duksta is her head. Laura has been bald since age 11 due to a condition called Alopecia Areata. This challenge has become one of her biggest blessings. She is grateful for the opportunity she now has to share this experience with students and educators, reinforcing the simple though not always easy lesson of Just Be Yourself!
Laura believes that when people, especially our children, know they are loved… Anything is Possible! It was this realization that prompted her to self-publish her first book, I Love You More. Though self-publishing is often a difficult endeavor, Laura believed in herself and the message
of her book. Together with illustrator, Karen Keesler, they sold over 179,000 copies. Laura and Karen are known as “Hippie and The Bald Chick”.
Recently I Love You More was sold to Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky and has since hit the New York Times Bestsellers List three times in 2008! Their sales are now soaring to over 245,000 copies sold!
Laura has an extensive education in the field of human potential and excellence. She weaves many of these principles and life lessons into her presentation as she shares about her experience as a first time author and publisher. Students, educators and administrators leave Laura’s interactive programs inspired to be their best.
Laura and her work have been endorsed by several NY Times Bestselling authors, including Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, John Demartini from The Secret, as well as Wayne Dyer.
I Love You More
Told in verse, a mother and her son exchange messages about how much they love each other. Cleverly fashioned with a picture of the earth in the middle surrounded by the words “I love you more than anything in the whole wide world,” the book is two stories in one. It is reversible from each cover, each story ending in the center with the picture of the world. The illustrations are soft drawings that depict the characters as they walk hand and hand, as well as showing the examples that they share. When the boy asks his mother “Just how much do you love me?” she replies in terms of the highest flying bird, the tallest tree, the longest path, the prettiest flower, “…deeper than the deepest fish ever swam. I love you stronger than the strongest big river dam,” and so forth. He whispers in reply “I love you more!” and next we see the whole wide world. The reader then flips the book over and reads the story from the boy’s point of view with the mom asking him the “how much do you love me?” question. His answers include comparisons to quiet caterpillars, frog leaps, biggest bubbles, freest kites, highest swings, sweetest songs, long-lasting lollipops, loud rocket ships, tall giraffes, and “so much more than you have ever known.” Mom’s “I love you more” reply finds the reader back at the center of things: the “whole wide world” of love page. Obviously love itself was poured into the creation of this book. Perfect for Valentine’s Day, this is a genuine expression of love which will inspire readers to discuss their own ideas about the subject. 2007, Jabberwocky/Sourcebooks, $16.99. Ages 2 to 6. Reviewer: Sheilah Egan (Children’s Literature).
Laura loves when she visits a school to have the opportunity to share with the entire student body. Ideally, when visiting elementary schools the grades are divided between 3 presentations or more depending on the size: K-1, 2-3 and 4-5. She can present to groups of 30-300 or more when necessary. Her program is tailor fit to address the age group of the audience she is speaking to including parents and educators. Programs run 45 minutes to 1 hour and a little shorter for K-1. Her lesson of self-esteem is also well received in middle schools. High Schools can be geared more toward a Career Day presentation.
Self-Esteem through Love: Empowering Our Children to Shine!
- Just Be Yourself: not being stopped by our differences but celebrating and being empowered by them (here the issue of bullying can be addressed)
- Love:the way we are all intrinsically the same and the message of our book, I Love You More
- What it is like to be an author/illustrator/publisher and how our teachers helped us make our best work possible
- Affirmations/Declarations: how negative self talk sets us up for failure and how we can use our words to cheer ourselves on to be/do our best
- Genius: that each and every one of us has our own unique talents and gifts that we are meant to share with the world
School Visits: A ½ day: up to 3 presentations $800
A full day: 4-6 presentations $1200
Educational Seminars: $1200 up to 3 presentations
Plus expenses from South Florida (Relatives in Maryland, Boston and S. CA can help ease this expense). Often it is possible to use Laura’s visit as a fundraiser and receive 10% back on all books sold!
To learn more about Laura Duksta and her publications please visit www.lauraduksta.com.