This primer on visualization techniques uses a monkey and an elephant to introduce children to mindfulness and meditation.
There’s no story in this Australian import. Instead, an introduction directly addresses readers, describing meditation as a technique for managing one’s feelings. Opening text counsels, “Meditation won’t take away your problems, but it will help you deal with them,” and appears alongside an illustration of an elephant relaxing in a bathtub and imagining “feelings pop[ping] up and disappear[ing] like soap bubbles.” This prescriptive approach to meditation seems a bit reductive, but ensuing spreads that prompt specific visualization exercises move beyond using meditation to help one “deal with” problems. Throughout, the elephant can be seen meditating to relax, achieve focus, feel secure and so on. The monkey appears in some spreads as part of the elephant’s visualization exercises. A closing section, “Questions about Meditation,” advises readers about what to do if they feel bored, wiggly, sleepy, scared or frustrated, or if they have sore legs when they try to meditate. Ultimately, this will work best as a guide for an adult to use with a child in specific scenarios that might call for mindfulness and meditation.
Keep this in mind as a possible introduction to meditation for children. (Informational picture book. 4-8)