Happy: A Beginner's Book of Mindfulness
Happy: A Beginner's Book of Mindfulness
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
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Annotation: A perfect bedtime read, this picture book gently encourages children to explore the senses and discover their path to mi... more
Catalog Number: #208011
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Rodale Press
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Hickey, Katie,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-593-12119-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-593-12119-1
Dewey: 158.1
LCCN: 2019015259
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
If you are searching for books that focus on mindfulness, this will be a welcome addition to your classroom or library. Written in a narrative poetry format, each poem connects to the larger focus on mindfulness and provides readers with an opportunity to pause and reflect. Some concepts explored include listening, feeling, and relaxing. Teachers can use this book in conjunction with deep breathing or to calm the class and practice centering oneself in stillness. It may also be useful in early grades with units on self-awareness, feelings, and learning to control emotions. Quaint illustrations in mellow hues have a childlike quality and show a cheerful and diverse group of kids engaging in the book's exercises. Pair this lovely exploration of mindfulness with books such as Karen Beaumont's I Like Myself! (2004), Hallee Adelman and Sandra de la Prada's Way Past Mad (2020), and Andrea Pippins' Who Will You Be? (2020), all of which can help children focus on their emotions and self-concept.
Kirkus Reviews
Young readers are encouraged to stop and "smell life's sweet roses" in order to find happiness.Despite the saccharine opening, this title provides a mostly solid collection of mindfulness minipractices. Each spread features one sensory or emotional focal point, such as listening, feeling, and appreciating. Irregular lines of rhyming text set atop lush illustration provide context for how to practice; a question or statement encouraging reflection provides direct instruction. For example, five diverse children snuggle up near a fire in a room tinted red for the spread that focuses on love. The text prompts readers to consider that happiness grows from acts of kindness. The concluding question asks, "Have you given someone a smile or a hug today?" Though giving smiles and hugs isn't necessarily a mindfulness practice, it is a way to encourage kindness and compassion. Connection with the natural world is emphasized through the illustrations' idyllic rural setting. Though it falls into many of the same traps as others in the growing genre—conflating mindfulness with happiness, lumping multiple social-emotional learning strategies together under the name of "mindfulness," and romanticizing isolation from day-to-day city and suburban life—the overall utility of this book is strong.A fine resource for sharing moments of mindfulness, empathy, and reflection with young children. (Picture book. 4-8)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 Asked what makes them happy, most children will likely name familiar people and things around them: their parents, their dogs, and even ice cream and mud puddles. The book asks readers this very question as it takes them through aspects of mindfulness. Some of these concepts will be more familiar to children than others. For example, listening. Kids know that listening is important, but they don't really know why. This title is recommended for young children, though the ideas here seem more suitable for older children. As a lap book or a class read aloud, it is too much at one time. It could be useful for teachers who can use aspects of mindfulness on their own from time to time. Learning about listening, for example, would be useful to help children on a nature walk experience their surroundings more fully. Detailed, atmospheric illustrations show children in different environments. VERDICT Beautifully written and illustrated but not suitable for very young children.Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (4/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (2/1/20)
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2

A perfect bedtime read, this picture book gently encourages children to explore the senses and discover their path to mindfulness.

"Mindfulness is all about connetion with ourselves and the world around us."

This poetically-written introduction to mindfulness touches upon the most important aspects of life--feeling, discovering, smelling, listening, and all the things that bring the world to life. With every soothing read and practice, children are better equipped to understand and control their own emotions...and diiscover an appreciation for the beautiful world around them.

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