This book isn't about mindfulness; rather, it's an invitation to be mindful along with a boy named Charlie who's eager to see, hear, and feel his day. Even simple activities like opening a jelly jar provide opportunities to see "yummy red goodness," hear toast popping, and feel sticky. Some of the feelings are sensory (like "I feel foamy bubbles" and "I feel hungry in my belly"); others show emotions ("I feel proud Juno is my dog" and "I feel loved and safe"). We get to soak up 31 pages — all with pictures and most with words — of ordinary activities like waking up, opening the classroom door, taking a bubble bath, and falling asleep. We see how we, too, can go through our day fully experiencing each moment.
But the book does not stop as Charlie goes to bed. Activities and games like rocking your animal to sleep, body scanning ("Wiggle your toes? Can you feel your sock?"), love and kindness to others, and mindful eating make up the remainder of the pages. Our favorites instructions were for making a "mind jar" full of glitter that tumbles wildly when shaken, like our minds when excited. The authors point out that the book can help children learn to settle this "glitter" and find peace and calm.
Emmanuelle Giumelli wanted to create a book that children and parents can enjoy together, and she succeeds with the help of illustrator Mathilde Gatinois and graphic designer Patricia Murphey. Illustrations of these three at the very end are accompanied by this endearing credit:
"Three friends, one dream.
A lot of love and mindfulness
to make this book a reality."
If only everyone added these ingredients of love and mindfulness to their projects, perhaps the whole world would take on the tranquil happiness of this book.