Books about self-calming, loving-kindness, meditation and gratitude are still relatively few. This beautiful book is based on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn, and in the simplest of terms, introduces children to the use of their own breath as a way to slow down, calm down and appreciate the beauty in the world.
Written by Sister Susan, Illustrated by Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong
Plum Blossom Books, February, 2002
Suitable for: Ages 3 and up
Themes/Topics: Mindfulness, Meditation, Breathing, Zen Buddhism, Multi-cultural
Opening and brief synopsis: Opening Lines: “Dear little ones, let us sit very quietly. Listen… Listen to the wind. Listen to the birds. Listen to the crickets and the frogs. Listen very quietly to your breathing.”
Activities: In my opinion, the best activity based on this book is to do a little meditation with kids having them pay attention to their breath. When we do this at home, I ask my kids to pay attention to what they hear as they breathe. It’s amazing how perceptive they become. Once my son even said, “I heard my own heart beat.”
Why I Like This Book: Every time we read this, especially at bedtime, the kids emerge more peaceful and calm. I think it also helps them to understand that listening to their breath can be calming at any time. It also increases their awareness of their environment and their own feelings. The language is also so lovely. Here are a few more lines: “Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel solid. Breathing in, I see myself as space. Breathing out, I feel free. Space, free.”Authors, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books, Spirituality · Tags: Julie Hedlund, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books, Sister Susan, Spirituality, Thich Nhat Hahn, Writer, Zen Buddhism