Saturday, April 16, 2011

Amy’s 5 Books That Introduce Children to Mindfulness and Meditation

Amy’s 5 Books That Introduce Children to Mindfulness and Meditation

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, $17.99)

This is the first of a short series of books that introduces us to Stillwater, a wise and giant panda. In this story, he teaches three kids, through the art of storytelling, a few traditional Zen Buddhist tales about forgiveness, generosity, and impermanence.
(Ages 3 - 8)

The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, $17.99)
This book is a little more advanced. Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy, a young boy asks his animal friends the three important questions he’s been pondering: "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?". Through his actions and with the words of a wise old turtle named Leo, he is able to answer his own questions.
(Ages 5 - 9)

There by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Roaring Brook, $17.95)

A young girl wonders what life will be like when she gets bigger, asking “When will I get there? Will I wear sensible things and wear sensible shoes? Will I never say anything silly again?”. This is a sweet story about living in the moment.
(Ages 3 - 6)

Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerrie Lee Maclean (Albert Whitman & Co., $6.99)

This is more of an instructional book on meditation and mindfulness for kids, with simple instructions and exercises. One such exercise involves a jar of water and sand that gets shaken up and then watched as the sand (thoughts) settle and the mind becomes clear.
(Ages 3 - 8)

Each Breath a Smile
by Sister Susan Swan, with words by Thich Nhat Hanh (Parallax Press, $10.95)

Another lovely instructional book teaching mindful breathing to kids, written by a Buddhist Nun who has studied with Thich Nhat Hanh. This one uses imagery and words that are connected with nature to inspire the readers.
(Ages 2 - 5)

*Runner Up:
Anh's Anger by Gail Silver (Parallax Press, $16.95)

Anh is a young boy who, out of deep frustration, explodes with anger at his grandfather. Then, alone in his room, he meets his Anger, who’s taken the form of a monster, and ultimately learns the practice of sitting with his anger and letting go. (At present this book on Back Order, but it is worth the wait!).
(Ages 4 - 8)

April 2011, Amy Vaccarella

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