picture Books About mindfulness
Be Still, Life
Written and illustrated by Ohara Hale
In this whimsical celebration of the senses, you’ll see, hear, feel, smell, and even taste the world in entertaining and thoughtful new ways! Do you hear the humming of apples? Have you ever smelled dog lips? Can you see the hidden world within the grass? Ohara Hale’s Be Still, Life is keenly aware of life’s immediacy, but that doesn’t mean we should move through life fast. For when your body is calm and your mind is still, attention deepens until that snail’s lengthening shadow suddenly seems the biggest thing you’ve ever seen.
Written and illustrated by Andrew Jordan Nance
In this picture book for children and adults, illustrated by Jim Durk, who is adored by thousands of children for his many Clifford the Big Red Dog and Thomas the Steam Engine books, a young boy discovers his mind is like a puppy, always wandering away, into the past or the future. He sets about learning to train his puppy mind to heel to the present moment. Through remembering to breathe, the boy becomes a stronger and more caring master of his puppy mind, keeping it in the present, if only for a moment. Includes a link to a discussion guide for parents and teachers.
How to Be a Lion
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
In this timely and charming story about the importance of being true to yourself, mindfulness, and standing by your friends, we meet Leonard, a lion, and his best friend Marianne, a… duck. Leonard and Marianne have a happy life together—talking, playing, writing poems, and making wishes—until one day a pack of bullies questions whether it’s right for a lion and a duck to be pals. Leonard soon learns there are many ways to be a lion, and many ways to be a friend, and that sometimes finding just the right words can change the world… This sweet, funny, thoughtful, and much-needed story will open up readers’ eyes to the importance of being who they are and not backing down to hurtful criticism. It’s an empowering tale about connecting with others and choosing kindness over bullying, and shows children how angry and provocative words can be overcome by empathy and courage.
Children will love learning the calming power of meditation alongside Ziji, a playful puppy. Ziji is a noisy, bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to bark and play and—most of all—chase pigeons in the park. Then one day, Ziji sees a new boy from Jenny's school, Nico, sitting in the park. What is Nico doing? Why does he look so calm and happy? Ziji can't wait to find out. This book, written by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, one of the new generation of Tibetan Buddhist masters, will teach your child the basics of meditation in a fun and engaging way. Included after the story is a guide for parents and teachers with more information on what meditation is and how it can be helpful as well as suggestions on how children can continue to practice meditation on their own.
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
In a gorgeous and contemplative new picture book, legendary author-illustrator Tomie dePaola reminds us that mindfulness—being quiet, still, and present with one another—is a very special thing. Everything is in such a hurry, busy as busy can be. The birds are flying so fast, the dragonfly is zooming over the water—even the trees are waving their leaves. So what if we sit here, you next to me…and we can just be?
Ziji and the Very Scary Man
Help kids learn to face their fears and self-soothe with this adorable puppy companion. Ziji is a bouncy puppy who lives with the Anderson family: Mom, Dad, Jenny, and Baby Jack. He loves to play and chase balls in the park with Jenny and their friend Nico. Then one day, an angry man shouts at Ziji and scares him so much he never wants to go back to the park again. Can Nico show him how to calm his mind and face his fears? Renowned meditation master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shows young children how following our breath can calm us down—and how practicing compassion shows us that even Very Scary Men can be frightened sometimes too. A detailed appendix gives further guidance for parents.
In this charming and accessible picture book, Ian Lendler and Xanthe Bouma offer a heart-warming account of the childhood of the Buddha. A spoiled young prince, Siddhartha got everything he ever asked for, until he asked for what couldn’t be given—happiness. Join Little Sid as he sets off on a journey of discovery and encounters mysterious wise-folk, terrifying tigers, and one very annoying mouse. With Lendler’s delightful prose and Bouma’s lyrical artwork, Little Sid weaves traditional Buddhist fables into a classic new tale of mindfulness, the meaning of life, and an awakening that is as profound today as it was 2,500 years ago.