—Susan Verde, author of I Am Yoga and I Am Peace
“I love this book! Breathe Like a Bear is filled with playful and imaginative ideas for helping kids connect to themselves, whether it’s their own strong energy or inner calm. Each moment that Kira has so elegantly sculpted and described conjures up delicious, beautiful, or whimsical, child-friendly scenarios. It’s exactly this fun and accessible style that will make kids want to try every one of these little gems that provides simple tools for big change.”
—Laurie Berkner, award-winning and bestselling children’s musical artist
Author Willey brings years of experience in children's music and movement to her debut.The book is divided into five sections ("Be Calm," "Focus," "Imagine," "Make Some Energy," and "Relax"), which are further sectioned into double-page-spread subtopics. Each spread includes one or two breath-centered exercises to encourage a habit and practice of mindfulness. Most, but not all, include references to wild animals and nature that are sure to appeal to young children. They are encouraged to use their imaginations as launch pads for being present: "Imagine you're a cloud in the sky" and "Imagine you're a sleepy lion, just waking up in the morning" are typical. The exercises are brief and excellent for short attention spans, though some offer opportunities for extension through pacing. The instructional text is simple enough for fluent readers to use in self-guided practice, though each exercise likely works best as a read-aloud. Betts accompanies each exercise with charming illustrations featuring foxes, elephants, fanciful clouds, and, of course, bears. This friendly book is sure to appeal to educators and caregivers looking for an accessible and kid-friendly introduction to mindfulness. A breath of fresh air. - Kirkus Reviews
Breathe Like a Bear teaches kids how to flex their mindfulness muscles and be calm, focused, imaginative,energized and relaxed. Kira Willey offers up fun activities that are sure tocaptivate young audiences and start them developing positive energy-producinghabits for their physical and mental well-being. And as Michelle KelseyMitchell points out in the foreword, "Children who practice mindfulnessare better able to self-regulate, have improved social skills... anddemonstrate higher self-esteem." Accentuating the engaging exercises aredelightful illustrations of animals and nature portrayed in strikingly boldcolors. This enjoyable, interactive book is a sneaky way to promote a healthyapproach to life with the small people you value most.