This book by a husband-and-wife creative team invites you to pick it up, feel its weight in your hand, trace its wavy and labyrinthine designs, and listen to the sounds as you turn its pages. Its mindful activities for breath practice abound and have a playful quality to them. How often, for instance, does a book invite you to lift up a single page and then blow on it to see how long you can keep it from falling down?
Christopher Willard is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and is considered a leading voice on young people's mental health. Olivia Weisser is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where one of her areas of expertise is the history of health and healing. Their wealth of combined experience is evident as they guide young people to discover the power of breath to calm, center, and re-energize them. The art from Allison Oliver, who runs the Sugar design studio in New York City, brings a gentle palette of blue, turquoise, black, and gray to soothing pictures which include a sweet and totally present moment of the main character sitting cross-legged on one page, facing her cat who's looking back from a cushion on the opposite page. No words ... just breathing.
This book, with its focus on the senses and feelings, emanates peace and happiness. It's designed for four to eight year olds but would be appreciated by most elementary school children and even some in middle grades. As so often happens with children's books, adults can learn a thing or two from its insights and gentle pace as well.