Recommendations by Laura M

Since I started working as the Children’s Services Librarian here at the library in 2009, I have often heard requests from parents and caregivers for books on mindfulness for kids. Early on these books were hard to come by, and the ones that were available weren’t all that great, in my opinion. I purchased what I could for the Children’s Collection and have been keeping my eyes peeled for new titles ever since.

Luckily, there has been quite an increase in the publication of mindfulness books for kids and many of them are stunning! I have been aching to post about a few that I think are fantastic. I would love to hear from you any suggestions of titles we may not have in the collection yet - fill our our Suggest a Title form and let me know!

You are a Lion!: And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo

You are a Lion book jacket cover

Ages 3-5 years
Yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness, and this playful introduction for kids is gentle, accessible and fun!

For each animal pose, there are two pages that offer simple instructions (visual and verbal) for the child to follow followed by a two-page spread of a child in the “wild” with the animal.

This book can be enjoyed at bedtime as well as a guide for a simple yoga practice to start the day!

Follow Your Breath!: A First Look at Mindfulness by Scot Ritchie

Follow Your Breath book jacket cover

Ages 3-7 years
This book is part of the Exploring Our Community collection – a Canadian series that introduces young readers to essential parts of a community using a mix of narration, factual information and cartoon-style illustrations. In each book, five friends explore their neighborhood and learn about things like healthy eating, reducing waste and family heritage.
In Follow your Breath, the friends help ease Pedro’s anxiety about moving by practicing mindfulness: noticing their body, focusing on their breath, and visualizing. The children demonstrate the challenges of learning how to notice what’s happening in the moment and readers are reminded that mindfulness gets easier through practice. Activities to improve mindfulness are provided throughout the book, and three mindful games are included at the end.

Here and Now by Julia Denos 

Here and Now book jacket cover

Ages 4-7 years
As the title suggests, Here and Now is a real-time meditation that helps readers to notice and see the magic in noticing. It reminds us that “right now” we are reading this book, and while we are reading this book many other things are happening:  rain is forming in the belly of a cloud, cuts are healing, and broken bones are mending up. Thus, we enter the moment and feel connected to the greater unfolding story.

Some of my favourite moments in this book are when a question is asked and “we don’t know why” is the answer, and the pages where there is a child outlined in white but filled in with the background of the illustration, inviting us to bring ourselves into that space.

Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey 

Breathe Like a Bear book jacket cover

Ages 4-10 years
Breathe Like a Bearis divided into five sections – be calm, focus, imagine, make some energy and relax. Each section offers a few easy and fun mindfulness practices aimed at helping kids develop self-awareness, improve focus, release anxiety and stretch their imagination. Readers can pick a few they’d like to learn and practice them whenever they fit into their daily life.

One of my favourite practices is the candle breath – where you imagine yourself holding a candle, and as you take a long breath in you let a slow breath out, trying not to blow out the flame.

Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature by Rachel Williams

Slow Down book jacket cover

Ages 8-12 years
A spider weaving a web, a sparrow taking a bath, a sunflower tracking the sun - these are a few of the many ordinary events in nature that are both beautifully written about and illustrated in Slow Down. Each two-page spread offers a lovely narrative of a natural occurrence, weaving in scientific information along the way.

The mantra of the book is: “Slow down. Stop. Listen.” As readers, we are invited to witness the various workings in nature and then encouraged to go outside and experience them for ourselves. There is an exercise included at the end of the book to help make this connection to nature and the great outdoors.