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A Mindful Fall-Asleep Book

From the Before Bedtime series

by Claire Grace & Jessamy Hibberd ; illustrated by Hannah Tolson

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-7112-5557-9
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

The ritual of a bedtime story pairs with activities to calm body and mind.

Children of various racial presentations perform mindfulness exercises just before bedtime. The text promises a “goodbye to the wriggles and the fidgets” and to “let the calm feelings in.” Most of the double-page spreads contain two key elements: a greatly abbreviated account of a classic Greek myth that inspired particular constellations, complete with literal and symbolic images of the stars, and instructions for mindfulness exercises that relate to the tale in some way, textually identified by a lavender crescent moon. Activities include conscious breathing, body stretches, and/or visual imagery. For example, the page with Draco the snakelike dragon accompanies an exercise to stretch out on the bed then breathe out with a hiss. “Notes for Grown-Ups” bookend the text, relating suggested reading strategies and the benefits of mindfulness. The tales are made kid-friendly (“Zeus fell in love again”) but include just the barest minimum of storyline. There is a nice variety of calming exercises with easy transitions from the tales, forming a cohesive presentation. Blues and yellows blanket the pages, with accenting pinks, creams, and browns. The pictures appear as if they were sometimes made with crayon or cut paper, helping to create a childlike style, with lots of details to peruse in the backgrounds of bedrooms or night skies.

A mindful realization of many elements makes a useful centering guide.

(Picture book. 4-7)