The meditation practice of counting breaths to create calm is presented in this picture book first published in Australia.
This introduction to calming meditation is aimed at young readers and presents a simple technique: counting breaths to 10. After directly encouraging readers via second-person narration to count their breaths to 10, the story relates what each of five youngsters—illustrated with varied gender presentation and shown with diverse hair textures and skin tones—have in their minds, thoughtwise. For example, “Molly’s thoughts are butterflies” while “Oliver’s thoughts are monsters,” and “Amelia’s thoughts are wriggly worms.” After acknowledging these different types of thoughts, the text segues to the idea that all thoughts are fleeting and transient—even scary ones. This important point is the basis of meditation, and it’s heartening to find it reinforced so strongly throughout as well as being the final summation: “Just finding your breath can put you at ease. / Watch your thoughts drift away, then feel calm… / And at peace.” In its essence, the theme is clearly presented and unintimidating, but the perky rhyme carries with it a hint of patronization. Perrini’s illustrations don’t vary from full-bleed double-page spreads, and while they present plenty of open space—reinforcing the idea of uncluttered mindfulness—they generally lack any imaginative interpretation, mostly mirroring the words. However, it is enriching to see diversity represented.
A solid and unintimidating introduction to mindfulness meditation for young readers. (Picture book. 5-10)