4 years & up
Various, see each book.
For World Meditation Day this year, I have 3 books that focus on meditation and mindfulness for the whole family, and one humorous one about being cranky and fully feeling one’s emotions.
Already a Butterfly: A Meditation Story
I began reading this book, and was looking forward to a nature and mindfulness story with a protagonist of color! What I didn’t expect was to be instantly dragged with similarities between myself and Mari.
Mari is always busily flying around, barely remembering where she’s been, and focusing on what’s left to do. She yearns for the time inside her chrysalis, when she was happy and comfortable. Now, she just focuses on what’s on her to-do list.
Mari meets a friend who helps her take a deep breath (or several) and take some time for meditation and mindfulness. In the back is extra information about author Julia Alvarez’s work in the Dominican Republic teaching children meditation and mindfulness. This is a lovely story as well as an important tool to help kids recognize when they’re feeling burnt out or overextended, and how to take a break.
I Am a Peaceful Goldfish
This book is adorably illustrated and goes through a myriad of different breaths to calm oneself down, when a person might be feeling overwhelmed and/or cranky. Readers can take breaths like a poofy dandelion or fire-breathing dragon. I appreciate that so many possibilities are given, and simple text can be engaging for even the youngest of listeners.
I read this book with the accompanying Cranky Right Now, and used it to talk about how sometimes there are lots of reasons to feel cranky, and feeling our emotions fully is encouraged. But, like there are so many reasons to be cranky, there are equally as many (if not more) strategies to help us work through our feelings.
Cranky Right Now
Our narrator is CRANKY. And she outlines all of the injustices that have added up to crowning herself the Cranky King and doing a cranky victory lap around her house. Cheese sticks are slimy, cats are eating cookies, forts are being invaded.
This book reads in a humorous and melodramatic way, perfect for a read aloud. The plot mostly focuses on being cranky, which was a delightful accompaniment to I Am a Peaceful Goldfish which hardly mentions the events leading up to feeling overwhelmed and grumpy.
Cranky Right Now hits home for folks with siblings. Once annoyed at each other, the pair cozy up for a nap and then regain chipperness once again (spoiler? Anyone with kids knows this is the natural progression).
Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out
This is a YA/Grownup book that discusses integrating a mindfulness practice into an individual’s antiracism lifestyle. Author Ruth King is a Black, lesbian, buddhist, and she teaches mindfulness and meditation internationally.
Ruth King is particularly known for her work helping groups recognize their own whiteness and work towards a more antiracist lifestyle. She offers insights on self-reflection, meditation practices, and mantras to try during meditation. King encourages racial affinity groups to be part of an individual’s reflection and antiracism, and to be in a space where folks can process and feel emotions without judgement.