Not to everyone’s taste, but those searching for ways to explain and explore mindfulness with little people will be pleased.

READ REVIEW

TUMMY RIDE

CALMING BREATHS FOR LITTLE ONES

From the Mindful Tots series

This how-to board book coaches toddlers on the methodology of deep breathing.

Using a meditative, repetitive style, an omniscient narrator obliquely explains the process of feeling and controlling one’s breath, a process readers learn “helps you rest.” Initially the instructions, such as placing hands on one’s tummy to feel it moving up and down, are quite clear. However, the directions become harder to follow as the metaphor grows more protracted and abstract, comparing breathing to an “ocean wave” that becomes a “smooth wave” with deep breaths, though patient adult caregivers will probably be able to help young charges bridge this gap. Good-natured, colorful art features diverse adults and children who adequately model the instructions, though the roughly drawn faces with triangular noses and loud, red-circle cheeks on oversized heads look a little peculiar. Companion text Loving Kindness, a meditation dedicated to building empathy and other “happy feelings for little ones,” is filled with sweet scenes between family members and affirmations such as “use gentle hands when you play. You can share happiness.” An earnest reading of these purposeful instructions will feel natural to some but corny to others.

Not to everyone’s taste, but those searching for ways to explain and explore mindfulness with little people will be pleased. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78285-748-8

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Genial starter nonfiction.

THE HUMAN BODY

From the PlayTabs series

Panels activated by sliding tabs introduce youngsters to the human body.

The information is presented in matter-of-fact narration and captioned, graphically simple art featuring rounded lines, oversized heads and eyes, and muted colors. The sliding panels reveal new scenes on both sides of the page, and arrows on the large tabs indicate the direction to pull them (some tabs work left and right and others up and down). Some of the tabs show only slight changes (a white child reaches for a teddy bear, demonstrating how arms and hands work), while others are much more surprising (a different white child runs to a door and on the other side of the panel is shown sitting on the toilet). The double-page spreads employ broad themes as organizers, such as “Your Body,” “Eating Right,” and “Taking Care of Your Body.” Much of the content is focused on the outside of the body, but one panel does slide to reveal an X-ray image of a skeleton. While there are a few dark brown and amber skin tones, it is mostly white children who appear in the pages to demonstrate body movements, self-care, visiting the doctor, senses, and feelings. The companion volume, Baby Animals, employs the same style of sliding panels to introduce youngsters to little critters and their parents, from baboons to penguins.

Genial starter nonfiction. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-2-40800-850-5

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Twirl/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed.

CLIMATE CHANGE FOR BABIES

From the Baby University series

This book presents a simplified explanation of the role the atmosphere plays in controlling climate.

The authors present a planet as a ball and its atmosphere as a blanket that envelops the ball. If the blanket is thick, the planet will be hot, as is the case for Venus. If the blanket is thin, the planet is cold, as with Mars. Planet Earth has a blanket that traps “just the right amount of heat.” The authors explain trees, animals, and oceans are part of what makes Earth’s atmosphere “just right.” “But…Uh-oh! People on Earth are changing the blanket!” The book goes on to explain how some human activities are sending “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere, thus “making the blanket heavier and thicker” and “making Earth feel unwell.” In the case of a planet feeling unwell, what would the symptoms be? Sea-level rises that lead to erosion, flooding, and island loss, along with extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, blizzards, and wildfires. Ending on a constructive note, the authors name a few of the remedies to “help our Earth before it’s too late!” By using the blanket analogy, alongside simple and clear illustrations, this otherwise complex topic becomes very accessible to young children, though caregivers will need to help with the specialized vocabulary.

Adults looking for an easy entry into this subject will not be disappointed. (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8082-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Sourcebooks eXplore

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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