About the book: from the Dover back cover:
This is a wonderful book! Having previously reviewed Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs and The Big Adventures of Tiny House, I am an unabashed admirer of the work of Susan Schaefer Bernardo and Courtenay Fletcher. Now, in this book, they have joined forces with the insightful and talented LeVar Burton.
In this story we encounter young Mica Mouse, so scared by a storm that she feels she has swallowed it and it is playing havoc with her feelings. Fortunately for Mica, she has a loving and caring Papa and a flock of understanding and helpful friends who help her find a way to quiet the storm and be at peace.
I am a licensed psychotherapist, and have worked with troubled children for many years now. Clinical literature tells us that, even in our 21st century, anxiety in children is not well understood. It is frequently under diagnosed or misdiagnosed. It is often mistaken for being oppositional, disobedient or defiant. In fact, these behaviors may represent the child’s desperate attempts to avoid or cope with disturbing feelings that they may not know how to identify and/or communicate. What is important for adults to understand is that the child, lacking the maturity and judgment to determine what dangers are real or imagined, is developmentally entitled to experience fears, and to feel anxious when he is afraid.
A child who is anxious or fearful may indeed feel he/she has swallowed a storm, as the central character in this story, and be very troubled and yet lack the means to identify the source of the fear, or to know what to do about it to quiet the turbulence.
So, this book is an outstanding resource for children, parents, teachers, and therapists. It presents a story that children can resonate to, and provides answers that they can feel comforted and soothed by. The story is beautifully and poetically told, and brilliantly illustrated. The time-honored approach of storytelling is used to fine effect here, and there is also a useful page of questions at the end of the story to help the reader/child to apply Mica’s story to his/her own experiences.
My thanks to Susan Bernardo for providing a copy of this book to read and review.
This is a wonderful book. I reviewed with great appreciation an earlier book by this same author and illustrator, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs. It is so heartening to see another small masterpiece created by this pair.
The story of Tiny, an old farmhouse reborn as a wonderfully snug little home with wheels, discovering the big world mirrors the world of the child embarking on his own life journey of discovery.
The pictures are marvelous; the message is timely. In our world, home is becoming a central issue for our society. For children, home and security are essential to their sense of self and growth. As a licensed psychotherapist working with children and families for over twenty years, I would recommend this book wholeheartedly for parents and children to experience together.
My thanks to authors, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing an advance copy to read and review.
Zoo Zen is a charming book with amusing illustrations that is sure to be appealing for children. It is intended to use with children ages 4-8.
The idea here is for children to learn some basic yoga poses by emulating the animal illustrations for each pose, along with helpful tips. It is described as “an imaginative book that combines the benefits of yoga with kid’s natural love for animals to create a magical learning journey that parents and children can enjoy together.” The helpful creatures include balancing bears, gliding cobras, proud eagles, roaring lions, bending camels, perching crocodiles, swimming dolphins, scaly lizards, screeching gorillas, hip-hop frogs, and a serene pink flamingo.
This seems like a good book for parents and children to pursue together. I’m sure the children would love emulating the poses, and an adult could help them to follow the additional tips about breathing and relaxation. Perhaps this could be used as a textbook to accompany a children’s yoga class. I do think adult supervision is wise, at least while children are first learning the poses.
Today, I removed a post I had made some months ago, a review for a lovely children’s book called Abigail the Whale. I got some favorable responses, and for those I was grateful. But I also got a massive quantity of spam messages. Today, regretfully, I have deleted the Abigal review to turn off the spam machine on this post. For those who really care about the book, I am re-posting the review, below.
I requested this book from NetGalley because it deals with a pre-teen girl and her anxieties, particularly around her body image. I am a licensed psychotherapist, and I know from years of experience how sensitive girls of this pre-teen and early teen age can be about themselves, and their body image in particular. In the story Abigail’s swimming teacher helps her with her problems through creative visualization technique. I use this very approach–visualization and mindfulness– with my patients, so I looked forward to reading the book.
Indeed, the book offers evocative pictures and conveys the idea of Abigail gaining self-confidence through her thought processes. For that, I can highly recommend it for girls of this particular age group. Abigail is a fortunate girl, to have a caring and wise teacher to guide her. The teacher helps Abigail to learn that “we are what we think”, and urges her to “Try it!” Abigail is a bit skeptical at first, but she is a brave and adventurous girl. She tries her hand at thinking, finding key words such as “light” and “water.” She also learns that whales can do pretty amazing things, like swimming and high diving. She finds that she is actually a–SUPER WHALE!
Good for Abigail! She finds that what she thinks is important, and she can help herself with her life’s challenges. It is very empowering to people of all ages to learn the power they possess to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others.
This is an excellent, attractive and helpful book. I highly recommend it.
My thanks to author, artist, publisher and NetGalley for making a copy of this fine book available for me to read and review. My thanks also to Allison MacLachlan of Owlkids for resolving a question I had.
Girls and boys, come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day;
Leave your supper and leave your sleep,
And come with your play-fellows into the street
Cabot, E. L. (1921). The art of play. In Seven ages of childhood (pp. 28-39). Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company/The Riverside Press Cambridge. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.books/
Freud, A., & Burlingham, D. T. (1943). Children and war. New York: Medical War Books/ Ernst Willard.
Milteer, R. M., Ginsberg, K. R. American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health (2011). Pediatrics; originally published online December 26, 2011; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2953 Retrieved at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/12/21/peds.2011-2953