How can anyone resist this book's invitation to "Find a comfy spot, maybe on a squishy cushion or a soft blanket"? The first lines and adorable ink-and-watercolor illustrations by Brittany R. Jacobs set a welcoming tone that instantly draws in children and adults alike as we take a big breath, close our eyes, and begin to listen.
We listen to and feel the breath, which may sound like an ocean, a stormy wind, a springtime breeze. This immediate connection with the body and nature leads into listening to sounds around us, whether the vroom of cars or the whirr of a laundry machine.
But these sounds, Jacobs' illustrations suggest, already melt into the bigger, mountainous landscape of our larger mind. We can even inquire about subtler things like our thoughts — illustrated by large and small dabs of pink, lavender, and blue paint — their sounds, their names, their sizes as they move across our mind.
Jacobs shows three different children meditating, so that no reader will feel left out. And Meyer makes sure that children can relate to all the suggestions. He has us fill our lungs "like two big balloons at a party" and "imagine your heart is a beautiful present sitting between those two balloons." His guidance continues to draw us "further up and further in," as C.S. Lewis puts it, until we are breathing in the light of our heart, all we are, and all we will be.
William Meyer is a high school teacher and a longtime meditator, and both qualities — ability to relate to kids and deep practice — shine from these pages. He writes in an Author's Note at the end that "meditation has helped me stay calm when things got overwhelming, it has helped me let go of thoughts that sometimes got stuck in my head, and most of all, it has helped me open up my heart when I needed to be brave." He wants to share his joy with others — especially, in this case, elementary-school children — and it certainly pours through this endearingly illustrated book.