Author: Lauren Alderfer
Illustrator: Kerry Lee MacLean
Interest Level: Ages 5 and Up
About This Book: This wonderful picture book for children and adults alike introduces the powerful practice of mindfulness in a fun and exciting way. With the delightful Monkey and his serene friend Happy Panda guiding readers to a calmer and more attentive mind, this whimsical yet warm presentation will delight all readers.
Monkey is not so mindful - his Monkey Mind constantly jumping from one thing to another
- but he encounters a mysterious and playful friend in Happy Panda. Panda helps Monkey recognize the simple joy of doing what you're doing while you're doing it.
Why It's On My Bookshelf: Anxiety. I have been encountering more and more students who are struggling with anxiety. Most of these kids do not know how to manage it and the coping skills they have usually revolve around fight, flight or freeze. Putting together a curriculum around mindfulness to help students with these challenges has been a mission of mine. This book is an EXCELLENT resource. Monkey mind is a Buddhist expression which refers to the incessant chatter that goes on in our heads. I think we all struggle with this! I will definitely be using this as a read aloud in ALL classrooms. It's a message all kids will relate to because we all have some level of stress in our lives. Makes sense to learn how to manage it early in life- not later.