My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness
My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness
Publisher's Hardcover16.99
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Annotation: A poetry collection that both illustrates what mindfulness is and encourages young, growing minds to be present, from educator Georgia Heard.
Genre: [Poetry]
Catalog Number: #221511
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Illustrator: Roxas, Isabel,
Pages: 56 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-250-24468-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-250-24468-0
Dewey: 811
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A middle-grade poetic primer on reflection.In today’s Covid-rattled frenzy of online or hybrid instruction and added strictures on behavior, Heard’s gentle call for mindfulness offers young readers a window into a reflective realm typically reserved for adults. Here Heard provides the tools for achieving inner peace in 30 mostly free-verse poems accompanied by winsome illustrations by Roxas. Heard admits to suffering from “ ‘monkey mind’…when your mind jumps around, distracting you from whatever you’re doing in the present moment.” She then introduces the alternative, “mindfulness,” being “focused on the present,” and encourages children to be “aware of your thoughts and experience your feelings as they come without being overwhelmed by them.” In one of several poems devoted to breathing techniques, Heard evocatively tells children “your breath / is the translator / of your / heart,” as Roxas’ whimsical double-page spread shows a smiling kid sitting atop an equally happy-looking, charcoal-hued whale spouting cyan-colored water. Heard nicely parses mindfulness into acts of introspection (“I’m learning / to take my inner weather report”) and observation, with poems like “Consider a Raisin” promoting sensory exploration of elements common in the natural world. She also incorporates mindful and meditative concepts from non-Western cultures, like “shinrin-yoku,” the Japanese practice of taking “forest baths,” or “mantra,” from the Sanskrit for “mind tool,” offering an introduction to these worldwide practices.Therapeutic and accessible: an empowering guide well suited for those growing up in this age of anxiety. (Poetry. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6 This short collection of poems aims to teach children how to slow down and be aware of their thoughts and environment. The text uses meditation and affirmation techniques to introduce the concept of mindfulness. Simple language explains actions that readers can follow. However, the format and layout of some poems may be difficult to digest for children who experience reading challenges. The variation of fonts within the same poem and the black-on-blue backgrounds may also present reading difficulties. The illustrations are rendered in shades of blue and white, echoing the title and cover imagery of looking up at the sky, but do little to enhance the feeling or meaning of the poems. This volume could serve as a good read-aloud option for a classroom or library to teach guided mindfulness or meditation exercises. VERDICT For libraries that have an established mindfulness initiative. Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford Coll., TX
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (1/1/21)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Lexile: NP

A poetry collection that both illustrates what mindfulness is and encourages young, growing minds to be present, from poet and educator Georgia Heard, with art by Isabel Roxas. Poets have long observed the world in a mindful way. They point out beauty we might have missed, draw our attention to our inner thoughts, and call us to see our society in new ways. But as daily life become more and more chaotic, children grow distracted. According to the CDC, 9.4% of children have ADHD and 7% have anxiety/depression. And these numbers continue to climb. As treatment doctors recommend healthy eating, physical activity, plenty of sleep, and mindfulness techniques. Georgia Heard is a poet and educator--and she has long had her own meditation practice. In My Thoughts Are Clouds , she uses poetry to demonstrate what mindfulness is and gives kids--and their parents and teachers--accessible ways to learn mindfulness tools.

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