A peaceful book of mindfulness exercises.

MINDFUL WONDERS

A BOOK ABOUT MINDFULNESS USING THE WONDERS OF NATURE

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

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While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the...

HALLOWEEN ABC

An abecedary of spooky or autumnal delights for the littlest readers.

Each letter of the alphabet is highlighted on a single page, the upper- and lowercase letters appearing in the upper left-hand corner, while the object is named at the bottom or in the upper right. Ho keeps her illustrations simple and places them against plain, brightly colored backgrounds, keeping them accessible to those still learning about Halloween’s many icons. The almost-fluorescent orange cover is sure to attract attention, and the palette of black, purple, orange, yellow, and radioactive green enhances the Halloween mood. But while many of the chosen items will be expected—bats, ghost, haunted house, owl, skeleton, vampire, witch, zombie—others are rather odd choices. J is for “jump,” not jack-o’-lantern (“pumpkin” is illustrated with a jack-o’-lantern); K is for a mostly black “kitten” standing in a coffin; and N is for “nightmare,” which is virtually impossible to express visually for this age group without provoking said nightmare. Here, a lavender-skinned child (zombie?) in pajamas and nightcap has arms raised and mouth open wide in surprise—perhaps in response to the mummy across the gutter? The tough letters use “quiver,” spider-decorated “underpants” on a monster, and “extra treats,” the x underlined.

While the ghoulies here are more cute than scary, “jump,” “quiver,” and “run” will probably get across the idea to even the youngest listeners that Halloween can be scary. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9527-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Nosy Crow/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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A comical, fresh look at crayons and color

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THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Duncan wants to draw, but instead of crayons, he finds a stack of letters listing the crayons’ demands in this humorous tale.

Red is overworked, laboring even on holidays. Gray is exhausted from coloring expansive spaces (elephants, rhinos and whales). Black wants to be considered a color-in color, and Peach? He’s naked without his wrapper! This anthropomorphized lot amicably requests workplace changes in hand-lettered writing, explaining their work stoppage to a surprised Duncan. Some are tired, others underutilized, while a few want official titles. With a little creativity and a lot of color, Duncan saves the day. Jeffers delivers energetic and playful illustrations, done in pencil, paint and crayon. The drawings are loose and lively, and with few lines, he makes his characters effectively emote. Clever spreads, such as Duncan’s “white cat in the snow” perfectly capture the crayons’ conundrum, and photographic representations of both the letters and coloring pages offer another layer of texture, lending to the tale’s overall believability.

A comical, fresh look at crayons and color . (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-399-25537-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

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