Picture Books

Mindfulness Books for the Classroom

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These are a handful of titles that are PERFECT for teachers/ parents that are new to mindfulness/ yoga and would like to begin to incorporate it into the classroom or at home.

Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel. This book is an informative introduction to mindfulness and its impact on child development; filled with practical exercises… a must have!

I am Peace and I am Yoga by Susan Verde are great titles for older children.  It’s simplistic but a gateway to begin conversation. Read I am Peace and follow it up with breathing or read I am Yoga and have them follow along with the poses!
The Lemonade Hurricane by Licia Morelli and Jennifer E. Morris is a great picture book for the younger ones.  It is perfect for mindfulness/ emotion conversation.

Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey and Anni Betts.  This is my ALL TIME favorite for practical exercises: it is jam packed with visualizations and motion meditations.  If you are ready to begin adding meditations into your child’s routine- this is the book to get you started!


Books That Help Children RISE

This morning one of my yoga clients (also a Librarian) told me she was having a hard time suggested middle grade novels to her home-schooled niece; she didn’t want to accidentally teach her about crappy things that happen in school (essentially giving her books that would teach conflict). I’ve been hearing this a lot more since my posts about conflict building plot lines and books teaching negative behavior. So as promised here are a few titles that don’t avoid conflict but also spend just as much time in resolution:

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Board Books:

Vegetables in Underwear by Jared Chapman

Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne

Hats of Faith by Medeia Cohan

Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz

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Picture Books:

Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

After the Fall by Dan Santat

I’m worried by Ian Black

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller

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Middle Grade Novels:

The Remarkable Sunrise of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank

Max Tilt Series by Peter Lerangis

The Misfits by James Howe

Super Max by Susan Vaught

Posted by John David Anderson

What Does a Princess Really Look Like? By Mark Loewen

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When Mark Loewen (Founder of Brave Like A Girl, an organization that helps girls find their courage and strength) sent me a copy of this picture book, the title piqued my curiosity and made me a little nervous.  Hopefully it was going to empower but what if it didn’t…. Okay, I guess I knew it was going to be “empowering” but I wasn’t sure what form it would take.
What Does a Princess Look Like? Is a clever re-interpretation of the way in which women perceive their external appearance.  Chloe takes outward physical features (that historically women have been judged for) and ascribes personal, internal meaning to each.  I.e. the Princess’s mouth is beautiful because she speaks, her eyes are bright because she is observant. Etc…
Chloe changes how we feel about our bodies and in doing so creates a new dialogue for young girls.  It’s bright and colorful illustrations pair wonderfully with Chloe’s spirit, which is the focus of the story that our external features simply reflect our internal greatness!!
It ends with mistake (an imperfection) that actually is the most meaningful to the completed picture.  Since Chloe is drawing her Princess the external features are impossible to ignore. And I think that’s the most important part of this story: not ignoring our physical bodies but rewriting what we feel about them.  It’s the beginning of a new Manifesto of Beauty for young girls.

For Ages: 5-8 yrs. old

For Those That Liked: Be Who You Are, Pink is for Boys, Princesses Save the World

Yoga Pose- Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose):
*Begin by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee.
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Keeping your torso upright, reach back with your left hand and grasp the outside of the left foot or ankle.
*Lift your left foot, up away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor.

Option to sweep your right hand around behind your back and catch hold of the inner left foot. Sweep the left hand back and grab the outside of the left foot.

*Stay in the pose until ready to come out, then release the grasp on the foot and place the left foot back on the floor. Repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side