What’s in Your Mind Today? by Louise Bladen

What's in Your Mind Today by Louise Bladen

What’s in Your Mind Today? by Louise Bladen, illustrated by Angela Perrini (9781506463773)

This picture book explores meditation with small children, beginning with sitting still and counting breaths. The book then asks via its rhyming text for children to take a look at what is happening in their minds. Then the book moves away from meditation instruction to looking at what other children are thinking about. Molly’s fluttering thoughts are like butterflies, moving quickly and unable to be caught. Oliver’s thoughts are monsters that melt away when he looks at them. George’s mind is full of troubles that burst like bubbles. Amelia’s thoughts are squirmy like worms. For all of the children, if they look at their thoughts, the thoughts go away, transform and leave them more at peace.

Bladen’s rhyming text is lighthearted and playful, inviting children to explore rather than being a formulaic look at meditation and its impact. Sharing a series of different types of thoughts with children is especially helpful, particularly when we all struggle with different thoughts at different times. The power of sitting meditation is clear here, yet not didactic in tone.

Perrini’s illustrations embrace those various thought patterns, launching visually into them and exploring how they make us and the children feel. There are dark pages, light pages, wriggly and bubbly pages. Each is shown with a sense of lightness and play.

A great addition to meditation books for children. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Beaming Books.

Review: Big Breath by William Meyer

Big Breath by William Meyer

Big Breath by William Meyer (9781608686339)

This book is one of the most successful meditation books I have seen for young people. It promises to be a guided meditation for children and really lives up to that. Both the text and the images work together to carry children through a series of breath and imagery exercises that will lead to calmness and being centered. It is presented as an adventure where you first pay attention to the sound of your breath. You then picture your thoughts and allow them to blow away with your breath like clouds on the wind. You send your breath into your hands and imagine yourself opening a surprise present. You send your breath into your toes, thinking of all the places you traveled today. Then you let all of that go, and just breathe.

This is a book about simple yet profound approaches to meditation that make it fun and friendly. The attention is on the process but also on the way that you feel afterwards. Throughout the book, ties to nature and the way that you fit into nature play across the pages along with the concise yet vibrant instructions.

The illustrations really lift this book. Filled with watercolors, they swirl and dance on the page. They offer imagery and lead into the meditation processes with a friendly colorful guidance that also shows that people do things differently and that’s OK.

A great book for children on meditation. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.