Marvin and his Grandpa live in a Great Big City where there are a lot of people and activities. His Grandpa tells him that his great grandfather was a wild and ferocious animal who climbed a tall building and then thumped his chest; everybody called him King. Marvin responds: "I'm calm. I'm mindful. That's who I am." His grandfather decides to call him King Calm.
The differences between the two gorillas become apparent during a week together. Whereas his grandfather quickly eats his banana, Marvin eats slowly and really tastes it. On a ferry ride, Grandpa takes a picture and wants to rush on, while Marvin notices shadows, curves, and colors. At a fountain, a bakery, and the symphony, they react differently. But when they go to the top of a high building, Grandpa finally begins to feel calm.
This lively and edifying children's book by Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles with illustrations by Bryan Langdo makes a good case for mindfulness as a spiritual practice that brings alive our senses of tasting, seeing, feeling, smelling, and listening. Designed for children from ages four through eight, the book also includes a "Reader's Note" for parents and caregivers explaining the benefits of mindfulness to help children pay attention and to relish the sense-luscious world. Highly recommended!