A boy in Saudi Arabia sees a storm as a parallel to his own fears and becomes inspired by animals to find inner peace in this story from a yoga therapist.
Members of Ahmed’s family, who appear to be Bedouins, have traveled across the desert to race their camels in an important gathering. Unlike his relatives, who are excited, Ahmed is afraid of his first race. He leaves his tent to spend time with his camel, Jamal. In the quiet, he notices a golden spiny mouse and a Saker falcon. In the distance, he sees a sandstorm, and he realizes that, like the chaos of the tempest, his emotions are causing turmoil in his body. Similar to the protagonist of Manly’s (Nothando’s Journey, 2016) earlier picture book, Ahmed explores his inner life through observing the animals around him. But because Ahmed’s meditation is tranquil, this work lacks some of the vibrant movement of the previous volume. Yet the importance of deep breathing and looking for positive emotions within any turbulence comes through clearly, and the subdued tone of the text skillfully encourages readers to meditate. The author’s earth-toned illustrations, a mix of pen and paint, offer both realistic depictions of the animals and setting and a successful metaphoric expression of Ahmed’s inner life. Three meditation exercises, tied to the narrative, are provided in the endpapers.
For readers seeking ways to express themselves or calm their emotions, this introduction to meditation through one child’s experience delivers a solid starting point.