As a former teacher, I spent a lot of time with petites of all ages, from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Over the years it became clear that an entire generation of kids has been swept up into a fast paced, shorter attention span and instant gratification, screen filled world. So many petites are bored before they even get into the meat of an activity.
Mindfulness at first glance might seem like something you learned long ago in a yoga class when you were in college. However, teaching mindfulness to our petites, creates a whole new space for them to slow down, take in their surroundings, think about what they are seeing and process what is happening in the world around them. This is a very good thing – taking time for yourself to relax, recenter, to be in a calm space is an excellent thing to learn how to do at an early age and can be a wonderful reminder for all of us to slow to and take a moment. Not to mention it is a great reminder for us as adults, too.
The two books I am sharing today focus on just what we’ve been talking about – mindfulness.
A World of Pausabilities: an Excerice in Mindfulness by Frank J. Sileo and illustrations by Jennifer Zivoin (Magination Press, 2017) is a beautifully illustrated story that places emphasis on slowing down, taking deep breathes and noticing the world around you. This book gives concrete examples of what mindfulness can look like.
We love the encouraging words and clear ways to practice mindfulness; we love that this book places a focus on slowing down and really paying attention to what you’re doing and being intentional in your actions.
This book is so much fun to read, on each page I would hear my petites saying “I do that” and “Oh, let’s try that sometime”. Another aspect of this book that is so much fun is that it rhymes, making it the perfect read aloud for students.
I love that Jennifer Zivoin created such gorgeous art depicting a diverse group of characters. I think that this would be a perfect book to share with preschoolers through second graders.
King Calm Mindful Gorilla in the City by Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles with illustrations by Bryan Langdo (Magination Press, 2016) is such a fun book about Marvin a gorilla who lives in the city, he is unlike other gorillas, he doesnt want to fight, or stomp around or be destructive. His great-grandfather on the other hand is more known for his stomping and climbing tall buildings in the city.
His grandfather doesnt really understand why Marvin is so calm and so mindful. When Marvin and his grandfather are in town – Marvin doesnt get crazy with the city spinning all around him, he remains calm and centered.
Marvin offers words of encouragement to his grandfather to slow down and really taste what he is eating, to notice the world around him beyond just snapping a picture and moving on to the next thing.
In the end, Marvin and his grandfather venture to the top of a skyscraper in the city (sound familiar?) and his grandfather starts to feel calm, to slow down, to notice everything around him. We loved that Marvin is the one teaching his grandfather how to be calm and how to take in the special moments.
Bloggers Note: I was given these books from Magination Press in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions shared in this post are my own. Thank you to Magination Press for use of images from A World of Pausabilities and King Calm.