Author Willey brings years of experience in children’s music and movement to her debut.
The book is divided into five sections (“Be Calm,” “Focus,” “Imagine,” “Make Some Energy,” and “Relax”), which are further sectioned into double-page-spread subtopics. Each spread includes one or two breath-centered exercises to encourage a habit and practice of mindfulness. Most, but not all, include references to wild animals and nature that are sure to appeal to young children. They are encouraged to use their imaginations as launch pads for being present: “Imagine you’re a cloud in the sky” and “Imagine you’re a sleepy lion, just waking up in the morning” are typical. The exercises are brief and excellent for short attention spans, though some offer opportunities for extension through pacing. The instructional text is simple enough for fluent readers to use in self-guided practice, though each exercise likely works best as a read-aloud. Betts accompanies each exercise with charming illustrations featuring foxes, elephants, fanciful clouds, and, of course, bears. This friendly book is sure to appeal to educators and caregivers looking for an accessible and kid-friendly introduction to mindfulness.
A breath of fresh air. (Nonfiction. 4-10)