A picture book promoting mindfulness and loving kindness.
Claire has a favorite stuffed toy called Pigalina. After establishing how much she loves Pigalina, the text suddenly introduces a friend, Molly, who one day “got angry and called Claire a bad name.” Flat cartoon art stiffly depicts the altercation and Claire’s shock, without any buildup to this plot point. Hurt, Claire retreats home and cuddles Pigalina. Suddenly, and again without any real story development, Pigalina begins talking: “May you be safe. / May you be happy. / May you feel love,” the sentient toy soothes Claire. These words help, and then the pair goes out to the kitchen, where Claire sees her parents. She bestows the wishes on them and then on others out in the world. Ultimately she “send[s] loving wishes” to many people, including Molly, and doing so feels healing and empowering. The heartfelt message of the book will likely inspire readers’ imitations of Pigalina and Claire’s wishes for themselves and others as well as conversations about mindfulness, but both the art’s and the text’s execution leave much to be desired in terms of storytelling. Claire is a girl of color with interracial parents, and Molly presents white.
Keep in mind for mindfulness training if not for pleasure reading. (Picture book. 4-7)