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.”

For more books with resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books!

Categories: Authors, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books, Spirituality · Tags: , , , , , , ,



  1. That sounds lovely Julie. My only concern would be if the kids didn’t go for it and I fell asleep and they didn’t lol.

  2. The book sounds lovely. I’ve been doing meditation for years, and this book sounds like a nice way to introduce my children to it.

  3. Sounds like a great book, Julie. I love the idea of introducing kids to meditation, especially since we tend to be so over-stimulated all the time.

  4. What a fantastic idea for a book! I love this! The opening lines are so beautiful and peaceful. In our fast-paced world we are certainly doing our kids a favor if we teach them how to self-calm, slow down and appreciate. I’m thrilled to have this on our list was we have nothing else like it. Thank you for this wonderful addition!

  5. What a calming book in this world of rush, rush. Parents pushing their kids to join everything at an early age. I love it, Julie! Will add it to my list. (((Hugs)))

  6. Hmm. Mom and Dad might need this one more than the little one.

  7. Ooh . . . I love this! If we all learned to “Breathe Relax Repeat” at a young age, the world would be better for it! _/!_

  8. This sounds like a great selection. Todays kids are hurried from one activity to the next and if they aren’t busy watching TV when they’re home they are playing an internet game. When finally they realize they are exhausted with all the activities they need to realize that they can meet themselves at their own backyard, with their own breath. Kids now a days don’t have time to be bored and think so learning about meditation from a picture book can have big ramifications. This seems like an important book for kids and parents in todays culture. Thanks for introducing this to us. 🙂

  9. This sounds like a beautiful book. I probably need to read it at bedtime because my mind doesn’t stop! Thanks for bringing to my attention.

  10. Thanks, Julie, Your selections are ones I’ve never seen in our library, but definitely something to make the effort to find!

  11. I think this is a wonderful idea for a book for kids and so valuable in our crazy paced world. Young children can benefit as we all can from meditation and centering and calming our beings. What a fantastic choice, Julie.

  12. Hi Julie, love your pick. This book topic is so different. I think it would be a big hit at my house.

  13. Great choice! My kids need this maybe me too. 🙂

  14. I really love spiritual books that teach children techniques to calm themselves. Wish there were more like them. Such a good technique at bed time, or when they need to calm a bit. Just love this book!

  15. I really like the sound of this book. It would awesome to get my kiddos to sit for a few minutes and relax.

    By the look of the cover — the illustrations are even soft and calming. Very cool!

  16. Very yoga-ish. And it’s a QUIET book, too. Though I’ve never heard of Plum Blossom Books. Was it a gift? Or did you buy it; if so, where?

  17. Wow, days like today, I think I could use this book. Or perhaps I should pop in the YogaKids DVD?

  18. Thanks for telling me about this book, Julie! Must see it :)!

  19. Lovely. I can imagine this book being very soothing to hear and read. Thank you!

  20. Julie, thank you for sharing this book! I often have my first graders take a deep breath to get us ready for something big or to calm down. I can’t wait to start using this book in the classroom!

  21. This is COOL! We actually do breathing at home! I am going to tell my mom abut this book! Thanks!

  22. Julie, what a great book. I’ve had to use special breathing techniques for my son who has asthma especially when he needs to calm himself down and control the coughing. This looks like a great book. I’d love to read it to him. Thanks for sharing!

  23. gosh I though I had c ommented here. This is a beautiful book Julie. Love the review. Actually its given me an idea on how to finish a PB ending I am stuck on….. lol. yay!

  24. Your comments remind me that I wanted to mention in my review that the book is just as effective for adults as children! I read it to myself sometimes when the kids aren’t around.

  25. I LOVE this book! Thank you for sharing. I’m off to Amazon to buy it.

    Grade ONEderful

  26. This sounds wonderful — so good to teach children (and adults) self-calming methods. Thank you!

  27. Sorry I am so late in coming by to comment, Julie. I figured I’d better hurry up…it’s almost time for the new batch of PPBF entries. 🙂
    This is a wonderful book…and I love the activity you suggest…just having the children be still…and listen to their breathing. Even our children are beset with schedules and playdates and sports…sometimes it helps to just breathe…as Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way says, Ahhhhh….that’s better. 🙂

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