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MINDFUL WONDERS

A BOOK ABOUT MINDFULNESS USING THE WONDERS OF NATURE

A peaceful book of mindfulness exercises.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

Children in relaxed postures take inspiration from the natural world in this guided meditation book for young readers.

Opening with the question, “What is meditation and mindfulness?” the narrator guides readers through breath exercises and nature visualizations. The exploration begins in orbit, where the reader is said to be “beautiful like the earth,” then settles into more grounded locales, such as a beach, mountains, a forest, and near a waterfall. Like these elements of nature, readers are invited to feel calm, mighty, and alive. The narrator also invokes the sun at different times of day, rain, and a rainbow, again emphasizing qualities that readers share with each natural feature. Each page offers a short description, a guided breath (“Inhale the beauty. Exhale”), and the recurring line, “Just breathe….” Zivkov’s gentle text offers straightforward, short sentences with vivid terminology (visualize, limitless, soaring) that will challenge and empower independent readers. The work is best suited as a read-aloud, with its dreamy cadence encouraging readers to focus on their breath as they listen. Kasha’s pleasing watercolor-and-ink illustrations show a single child on each page, frequently relaxing in a cross-legged position but sometimes reaching to the sky or standing on one leg. The children are wonderfully diverse, enabling many different readers to see themselves in these pages.

A peaceful book of mindfulness exercises.

Pub Date: April 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-578-67378-3

Page Count: 46

Publisher: Mindful Wonders, LLC

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S CHRISTMAS

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own...

The sturdy Little Blue Truck is back for his third adventure, this time delivering Christmas trees to his band of animal pals.

The truck is decked out for the season with a Christmas wreath that suggests a nose between headlights acting as eyeballs. Little Blue loads up with trees at Toad’s Trees, where five trees are marked with numbered tags. These five trees are counted and arithmetically manipulated in various ways throughout the rhyming story as they are dropped off one by one to Little Blue’s friends. The final tree is reserved for the truck’s own use at his garage home, where he is welcomed back by the tree salestoad in a neatly circular fashion. The last tree is already decorated, and Little Blue gets a surprise along with readers, as tiny lights embedded in the illustrations sparkle for a few seconds when the last page is turned. Though it’s a gimmick, it’s a pleasant surprise, and it fits with the retro atmosphere of the snowy country scenes. The short, rhyming text is accented with colored highlights, red for the animal sounds and bright green for the numerical words in the Christmas-tree countdown.

Little Blue’s fans will enjoy the animal sounds and counting opportunities, but it’s the sparkling lights on the truck’s own tree that will put a twinkle in a toddler’s eyes. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-544-32041-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

As ephemeral as a valentine.

Daywalt and Jeffers’ wandering crayons explore love.

Each double-page spread offers readers a vision of one of the anthropomorphic crayons on the left along with the statement “Love is [color].” The word love is represented by a small heart in the appropriate color. Opposite, childlike crayon drawings explain how that color represents love. So, readers learn, “love is green. / Because love is helpful.” The accompanying crayon drawing depicts two alligators, one holding a recycling bin and the other tossing a plastic cup into it, offering readers two ways of understanding green. Some statements are thought-provoking: “Love is white. / Because sometimes love is hard to see,” reaches beyond the immediate image of a cat’s yellow eyes, pink nose, and black mouth and whiskers, its white face and body indistinguishable from the paper it’s drawn on, to prompt real questions. “Love is brown. / Because sometimes love stinks,” on the other hand, depicted by a brown bear standing next to a brown, squiggly turd, may provoke giggles but is fundamentally a cheap laugh. Some of the color assignments have a distinctly arbitrary feel: Why is purple associated with the imagination and pink with silliness? Fans of The Day the Crayons Quit (2013) hoping for more clever, metaliterary fun will be disappointed by this rather syrupy read.

As ephemeral as a valentine. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9268-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2021

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