Parents looking to share mindfulness with their children in an easy-to-narrate tale should add this to their tool kits.

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LENA'S HAPPINESS SECRETS

MINDFUL MOMENTS AND MEDITATION WITH YOUR KID

A young girl offers mindfulness techniques and advice in this debut picture book.

Lena, a white, red-haired girl who appears to be an early elementary school student in the illustrations, directly addresses readers with her secrets to finding joy. She explains: “It is very easy. If you want, you can be happy too.” First, Lena describes noticing the colors in the world around her. Then, she sees how she can count on her fingers any time she wants. Next, she explores how the senses of touch and scent give her pleasure. In the longest section, she provides a visualization technique, imagining the warm feeling of happiness as a pink balloon that can encompass not only her, but also an ever expanding part of the world in a hug. This portion emphasizes the positive impact of sharing joy. While the idea of choosing happiness may be difficult for children who experience depression or other uncontrollable moods, the soothing mindfulness techniques and the tips Erdem supplies in endnotes about assigning colors to different emotions to express feelings may be useful. The cheerful, uncredited, manga-style images, colored with paints, deftly capture the emotional tone, though some readers will notice that the human inhabitants of the swelling happiness bubble have pale skin.

Parents looking to share mindfulness with their children in an easy-to-narrate tale should add this to their tool kits.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68770-167-1

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2019

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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