I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness
Reviewed by Lisa Rand
By Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017. 32 pages. $14.95/hardcover; $13.46/eBook. Recommended for ages 4–8.
The young person in these pages starts out feeling “like a boat with no anchor being carried away,” but after remembering to notice the breath and to use the senses to notice what is happening, states, “I have found my anchor.” There are tangible examples given, such as feeling the ground, watching a cloud, and touching a tree: all ways to reconnect and to quiet the anxious mind.
Peter Reynolds uses ink, gouache, watercolor, and tea to make his vibrant yet simple illustrations. There is a warm palette of yellow, orange, deep pink, and plum, with blue and green making occasional appearances. Dove gray visits several pages.
The last page includes detailed instructions for the accessible exercise of focusing on the breath. This simple practice could be beneficial in a family setting or as part of a First-day school lesson. This book is a great addition for family, classroom, and meetinghouse libraries. It shares a story that offers benefits to all people, and presents mindfulness as a practice useful to people of all faiths. Susan Verde’s book extends a beautiful sentiment to readers: “Now I share my peace with others and hope it is carried to those who need it.”