“Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems”
Teaching children at a young age how to be present and how to self-calm can become a beneficial skill that can help them later in life when faced with stress. In Breathe and Be, mindfulness poems set the stage for children to calm, relax, and be. These poems use nature analogies that children can easily relate to.
By the end of the book, a sense of calm and serenity prevails. Readers connect mindfulness with the beauty of nature. On the book’s back cover, this poem portrays rushing thoughts and centeredness.
Gorgeous illustrations create a soothing peacefulness while illustrating how readers’ awareness of their thoughts can promote mindfulness.
This book promotes visualization, flexible thinking, and nature.
TITLE: Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems
AUTHOR: Kate Coombs
ILLUSTRATOR: Anna Emilia Laitinen
PUBLISHER: Sounds True, 2017
AGE GROUP: 4-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: visualization, flexible thinking, nature
1) Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is quoted: “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As an act of mindfulness, sit quietly in nature. Pick a small square of dirt to observe. For five to ten minutes focus only on that patch of earth, watching nature happen.
2) Try your hand at writing a tanka poem. A tanka poem has five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables. Here is an example that I wrote.
by Ann Kelley
dollops of whipped cream
drift across speckled blue sky
like scoops of ice cream
piling higher and higher
until melting raindrops pour
To learn more about author Kate Coombs, visit:
To learn about illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen, visit:
“The True Adventure of Esther the Wonder Pig”
Based on a true story about a rescued pig, Esther’s two dads were told she was a mini pig. But there was nothing mini about Esther.
She grew and grew and grew.
Esther often got into mischief. She made a mess in the garden.
She sneaked into the freezer and ate all the ice pops. But she would look into her dads’ eyes and that smile…it was love.
Eventually Esther, at over six hundred pounds, outgrew their tiny house. Her two dads bought property and created the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary for rescued animals.
This book promotes creative nonfiction and humor.
TITLE: The True Adventure of Esther the Wonder Pig
AUTHOR: Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane
ILLUSTRATOR: Cori Doerrfield
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown and Company, 2018
AGE GROUP: 6-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: humor, creative nonfiction
1) Imagine having a dinosaur as a pet. What adventures would you and your pet have? What mischief might your pet get into?
2) Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary is located in Canada. Explore animal sanctuaries in other countries. How do animal shelters in the United States differ and are similar than other countries’ shelter? What ways can you help rescued animals?
To learn more about Esther the Pig, visit:
To learn more about author Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane, visit:
To learn more about Caprice Crane, visit:
To learn more about illustrator Cori Doerrfield, visit: