It’s Book Sharing Monday from Smiling Like Sunshine! We read a lot of books in this family and I love hearing from other parents when they come across a book that their kids liked. So, I’m going to be adding weekly posts about books that my kids recommend. Feel free to share any you’ve come across that might be a nice complement to the one I’m reviewing
By Kerry Lee MacClean
It’s no surprise that I really liked the main message in this book: No matter what life throws at you, you can find ways to feel calm yourself. I find myself saying too often to my kids that we don’t have time for something or rushing them out the door to get to an activity. I hope that they learn the practice of self-centering through meditation and Yoga. So, naturally, I show them by example, provide some tools to practice, and then back way off.
This book is one of those tools that they can choose to use. I’m planning to purchase the entire series by this author, including the follow up to this one where the Piggies practice Yoga.
The illustrations are bright, but soft enough to be calming and the phrasing of the sentences made it easy to read aloud. I could read this aloud upside down the first time through without any flubbing and spent more time discussing what the piggies were doing than I often can the first time through a book. The story was engaging enough that my kids paid attention and began encouraging the Piggies along. By the time the piggies began meditating, it was an easy transition and was worded in such a way as to encourage the little readers to try it for themselves.
There are several activities and notes on creating a meditation practice with your children, although I do think they are a bit overwhelming at first. Realistically it isn’t possible to begin a meditation practice for children at 10 minutes. I don’t know many adults who can do that as a beginner easily. Beginning with less than a minute of meditation and slowly working to longer periods by observing readiness is a goal that will keep it fun and light. Also, seated meditation is not necessarily the best way to start. Lying in bed with the lights dimmed at the end of the day might be a better option. Or if a child is very active, then moving meditation with yoga poses, a taped line or pattern to walk, or even balancing on one foot may work better.
The point is for the meditation to be enjoyable and something that the child, like the Piggies in this book look forward to as a time for personal connection.
The author’s website, Family Meditation, hasn’t been updated in years and has many dead links. But it does have a flash-powered ”Meditate with the Piggies” walk-through. My kids enjoyed clicking on the singing bowl.