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Extraordinary Lives Foundation Founder Releases Children’s Book During May Mental Health Awareness Month

Piggie Bear's Power of Happiness Book Cover

Author Mara James and Piggie Bear

Piggie Bear's message, You are Amazing!

Piggie Bear’s Power of Happiness is a Resource for Mental Health Awareness and Childhood Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

The more children learn how to process and deal with their emotions, the more resilient they will become”
— Mara James
ORANGE COUNTY, CA, UNITED STATES, May 25, 2022 / -- Award-winning author and Extraordinary Lives Founder/CEO Mara James, returns with her much anticipated next book, Piggie Bear’s Power of Happiness (Brown Books Kids; on sale: May 20, 2022). As children continue to return to in-person classroom environments, there's been a notable difference in elevated levels of stress and anxiety. Now more than ever, it is integral that resources be provided to help children as they cope with a new reality in the world around them.

Mara James aims to do just that! Piggie Bear’s Power of Happiness helps children to develop their Emotional Intelligence (EQ), teaching how to identify complicated feelings such as anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, and uncertainty, while managing them in a healthy way.

Summary: It's presentation day for Piggie Bear, and just in time for Mental Health Awareness Month! At school, every student must prepare a presentation and Piggie Bear intends to deliver one that helps its fellow classmates. While teaching the class how to identify emotions, release extra energy, and perform deep belly breathing and self-hugs, Piggie Bear will guide readers through each feeling with encouragement.

“We are ALL amazing just the way we are! Wouldn’t it be great to teach children not to judge others at a young age? The world can be so judgmental, and this needs to change. It can begin with something as simple as a loving friend: Piggie Bear. The more children learn how to process and deal with their emotions, the more resilient they will become.”
— Mara James

The book is available at or for further information, visit

About the Author
Originally from New York, Mara James relocated to California with her husband and her three children in 2007. They established Dr. James's OB-GYN practice, and for seven years, Mara managed the busy office. Then, in 2014, Mara unexpectedly experienced a manic episode and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Through her battle with mental health, many wellness professionals helped Mara heal and transform her life. Mara's experience — in addition to the experience of some of her close family members — has kindled in her a passion for forwarding the cause of children's mental health. She established the Extraordinary Lives Foundation and created Piggie Bear to promote mental health awareness and provide both children and their parents with the resources they need to pursue holistic wellness in any and all avenues available.

Mara lives with her family in Orange County, California.

About the Illustrator
Matthew Mew has been working with children’s books and materials as an author and illustrator for over 35 years. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in design, he worked for six years as a character illustrator in the Disneyland Creative Services Department. For the past 30 years, he has been a freelancer, designing and illustrating children’s products and print media for companies both large and small.

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The Power of Piggie Bear