Follow Your Breath! A First Book of Mindfulness

In Follow Your Breath we once again meet five friends who we have seen in other Scot Ritchie Exploring our Community books from Kids Can Press.

In this book, Pedro is anxious about moving to a new house in a new neighbourhood when his mom teaches her son and his friends the art of mindfulness to relieve stress.

Through the friends, we learn how to incorporate mindfulness in our day – by closing our eyes and uses our other senses; to live in the moment; and do a body scan to feel relaxed.

The end of the book offers mindful games to help your children learn to relax, reduce anger and increase confidence.

I really like this series by Ritchie. I like that we see the same children in each book. And I like the idea of teaching kids through a story the importance of appreciating moments, focusing on one thing at a time and accepting your feelings. As usual, there is one point per page with pictures and conversations as well as information on, in this case, how kids can practise mindfulness.

Follow Your Breath! Is from Kids Can Press and retails for $16.99.

Emmy Noether, The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard of

I liked reading about mathematician Emmy Noether, who was born in 1882 at a time when girls were supposed to be pretty, gentle and quiet, who could cook and sew and get married and have kids. Girls were not supposed to be smart. Emmy, on the other hand, didn’t fit any of those stereotypes – she wasn’t interested in having a family and she great at puzzles and math (“which no one took much notice because she was a girl.”).

Yet, Emmy, who lived in Germany, was a mathematician who “solved the mystery of why some laws of physics, such as the law of gravity, never changed” and helped Albert Einstein become famous. Emmy continued to do math, without credit for her discoveries because she was a women. She was also Jewish and when the Nazis came into power in Germany, she fled to the United States where was surrounded by female colleagues and began a new career. She died shortly after she arrived.

I loved how author Helaine Becker wrote this book – it was informative, interesting and funny. I do confess my eyes glazed over when Becker talked about the laws of physics and other mathematical equations, but that has to do more with my dislike of math, then Becker’s writing.

Becker wrote another book about a person who did amazing things, but no one knew about it because she was a woman in Counting on Catherine. Read my review and interview here.

Emmy Noether, The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard of is from Kids Can Press and retails for $19.99.

Voices of Justice, Poems about People Working for a Better World

In George Ella Lyon‘s Voices of Justice we read about people who used their voices to speak up for those who couldn’t including Greta Thunberg, a climate movement activist: Nelson Mandela, anti-Apartheid activist and former president of South Africa; and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an Indigenous and environmental rights activist.

Each person gets a full page illustration (done beautifully by Jennifer M. Potter) with the poem on the second page.

It’s a neat book, although I confess I would rather see a couple paragraphs about the person, rather than a poem.

Voices of Justice is from Raincoast Books and Henry Holt and Company and retails for $26.99.

A copy of these books were provided by Kids Can Press and Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinion are my own.