Children’s Books About Mindfulness

By | February 13, 2015

Moody CowBooks are an entertaining and relevant way to help a child understand what mindfulness is and why it is important. Through humor, whimsy, adventure, poetry, and pictures, mindfulness concepts come alive. The child can see how mindfulness helps characters appreciate the present moment, become more peaceful, and work through challenges. Whether read independently or shared aloud, these books provide the stimulus for rich conversations and incentives to put practices into action.

The following is a recommended list of books for children.  You will find: a fantasy/adventure novel, four picture books about mindfulness, and nine illustrated books on mindfulness practices.  Although these books are written for children, each contains many heartfelt messages for older youth and adults.

Click on the book titles for more information or to purchase.

 

Fantasy/Adventure Novel

Grades 3 – 8

Zak frogs 2ZAK and the Mystery Girl, 2012
by Candace Murrow (Author)

This uplifting fantasy/adventure novel is about growing through pain and the magic that happens when we tune into the wonders of the world around us. Twelve-year-old Zak is going through a difficult time. After moving from place to place with his mom, he had finally settled in and made friends; then his mom lost her job. Once again he is uprooted and is forced to spend the summer on old Aunt Jenny’s farm in the middle of nowhere. He is angry and fearful of where his life is heading. Soon he meets a mysterious girl, Tara, who teaches him “It is all in how you perceive things.”

Never preachy or boring, this fast moving story touches on issues of love and compassion, the power of attention, taking responsibility, taking care of the environment, and the interconnected energy of everything.

 

Picture Books: Stories About Mindfulness

Preschool to Grade 4

The combination of playful text and bold, colorful illustrations of these books will appeal to children and make the messages about mindfulness enjoyable and desirable.

piggy meditationPeaceful Piggy Meditation, 2004
by Kerry Lee MacLean (Author and Illustrator)

The young pigs in this story learn to balance a stressful, hectic life with regular meditation. Fun paintings show piggies in situations kids will identify with—they tease their siblings, get mad, play video games. They learn to “take a break, find a quiet spot and just breathe, breathe, breathe.”

At the end of her book, the author offers instructions on how to meditate and describes her experiences with using family meditation in her own life and in her practice. She concludes with a hands-on activity that invites kids to visualize the quieting of their minds as the settling of particles in a muddied jar of water.

Moody CowMoody Cow Meditates, 2009
by Kerry Lee MacLean (Author and Illustrator)

A funny story that introduces children to the power of meditation through Peter the Cow, who is having a BAD day. After missing the bus and wiping out his bike, he loses his temper and gets in trouble.

To make matters worse, all the other kids are teasing him, calling him Moody Cow.

His grandfather teaches Peter how to settle his mind and let go of his frustration through a simple and fun exercise.

 

Mindful MonkeyMindful Monkey, Happy Panda, 2011
by Laren Alderfer (Author), Kerry Lee MacLean (Illustrator)

In this metaphoric tale, Monkey is not so mindful—his Monkey Mind constantly jumps from one thing to another. Then he encounters mysterious and playful Happy Panda.

 

Panda helps Monkey recognize the simple joy of doing what you’re doing while you’re doing it.

 

AppleNo Ordinary Apple: A Story About Eating, 2013
by Sara Marlowe (Author), Phil Pascuzzo (Illustrator)

When Elliot arrives at his neighbor’s house after school, he looks for a snack. When offered an apple, he responds a bit dramatically, “An apple! Don’t you have any candy?” Carmen, his neighbor, then guides him through eating an apple using all of his senses.

The book concludes with an encouragement to try mindful eating, using all of your senses, with other foods.

 

 

Picture Books: Mindfulness Practices

Vivid illustrations in a variety of styles provide instruction and motivation to put into action the mindfulness practices offered in these books.

Lion yogaYou Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses, 2012
by Tae-Eun Yoo (Author and Illustrator)

Simple instructions and clear illustrations invite children to enjoy yoga by assuming playful animal poses.   The author sparks their imagination by encouraging them to be the animal—to roar like a lion, flutter like a butterfly, hiss like a snake, and more.

piggy yogaPeaceful Piggy Yoga, 2014
by Kerry Lee MacLean (Author and Illustrator)

This whimsical and informative picture book guide shows kids—and piggies!—in classic yoga poses, complete with instructions.

FrogSitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents), 2013
by Eline Snel (Author). Includes 60-minute audio CD read by Myla Kabat-Zinn

Simple mindfulness practices help a child deal with anxiety, improve concentration, and handle difficult emotions.

Handful of QuietA Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles, 2012
by Thich Nhat Hanh (Author), Wietske Vriezen (Illustrator)

This gentle book by mindfulness master, Thich Nhat Hanh, introduces a lovely meditation with four ordinary pebbles. The meditation speaks to the heart and appeals to all ages.

To be PresentWhat Does it Mean to Be Present? 2010
by Rana DiOrio (Author), Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)

Bright illustrations and lyrical text demonstrate ways a child can notice and appreciate the present moment.

SilenceSilence, 2012
by Lemniscates (Author)

The reflective nature of the text and pictures encourages children to stop, listen, and pay attention to what otherwise gets drowned out in our noisy environment.

Visting Feelings Graphic NovVisiting Feelings, 2013
by Lauren Reubenstein (Author), Shelly Hehenberger (Illustrator)

Beautiful illustrations and descriptive prose invite children to sense, explore, and befriend any feeling with acceptance and equanimity.  A wonderful introduction to identifying a felt sense of emotions in the body. Gold Medal, 2013 Mom’s Choice Awards.

 

BucketHave You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids, 2006
by Carol McCloud (Author), David Messing (Illustrator)

A winner of fifteen awards, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love.

 

You are not your thoughtsUntitledYou Are Not Your Thoughts (Mindfulness for Children of All Ages), 2010
by Brian Despard (Author), Joanne Despard (Contributor)

The message of this playful and wise book is compassion and loving-kindness between all human beings. The pictures are fun for children and the text is written in rhyme.

2 thoughts on “Children’s Books About Mindfulness

  1. Pingback: Styling Librarian: Top 20 Mindfulness Books | The Styling Librarian

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