By Whitney Stewart, illustrated by Sally Rippin. Albert Whitman & Company, 2015. 32 pages. $16.99/hardcover; $6.99/eBook. Recommended for ages 4–8.
In order to live from a place of peace, to be peace in the world, we all can benefit from learning how to better handle our emotions. As author Whitney Stewart writes, “Meditation won’t take away your problems, but it will help you deal with them.” As we teach our children to be peacemakers, mindfulness meditation can be a beneficial support.
With simple illustrations of a friendly elephant and monkey, and backgrounds of sky blue and grassy green, this book offers a terrific introduction to simple mindfulness exercises. It is a useful guide for families and First-day classrooms and fills a gap in many library collections.
There are nine exercises in the book, each presented in clear language. Some children will read the exercises to themselves and try them out, while others will benefit from hearing the exercise read aloud first. I could imagine children learning an exercise with a caregiver, and then reaching for the book as a guide to walk through the exercise again. This book could best be used independently by children age 8 or older due to the reading level and some concepts, but caregivers will find ideas suitable for preschoolers, too.