Here and Now: Book Review and Activities

Hello!

I'm excited to share this beautiful new book with you: Here and Now. Both the text and illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.

https://amzn.to/2W7gUPO

Title: Here and Now
Author: Julia Denos
Illustrator: E.B. Goodale
Publishing: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019
Themes: Mindfulness,
Ages: 4-7

Synopsis:

This book is a meditation on the present moment. The author takes you through the day, reminding you to notice the little moments, such as phones ringing, a baby growing, and an idea blooming. Through the lyrical text and Goodale's simple, but beautiful illustrations, Denos brings our attention to what is happening all around us, such as rain collecting in clouds, the animals we don't always see, and our beautiful planet spinning in space.

Opening Lines:

"Right here, right now, you are reading this book.
"The book is in your lap, or in your hands, or in someone else's."


My Thoughts:

I just love picture books about mindfulness: they're soothing, slow and peaceful.

Children tend to be very good at living in the present moment; they rarely give a thought to the past or future, which (in my opinion) is the best way to be.

Just be.

For most children, I think this book puts a name on what comes naturally. For those little souls who barely take a moment to breathe, the book could be a beautiful and calming pause in the middle of a busy day. And for the adult, it's a charming (and often needed) reminder about slowing down and being in the moment.

Julia Denos was inspired to create Here and Now from a poem she wrote called "In the Moment". So it's not surprising that the text has a lovely poetic feel. It is perfectly paired with E.B. Goodale's gorgeous artwork (ink, watercolor, monoprinting, digital collage). The text and illustrations complement each other and ground the reader in the earth and the ever-present changes and miracles that are part of life.

I HIGHLY recommend this lovely picture book :)

Book Related Activities:

  1. You can find more books by Julia Denos here. I haven't read any of them yet but they all look very intriguing.
  2. Read this book to your child before bedtime or to your class after recess or lunch when they need help winding down.
  3. You could go around the circle and have each child say, "Right here, right now I am ..." or "I hear" or "I think".  They could tell about their feelings or what they are doing or thinking about. And of course, I think it's important to let kids "pass" if they're uncomfortable with this process.
  4. Use this book as a jumping stone into some poetry writing. For those reluctant writers it can be very simple: "Right here, right now, I am holding this pencil. This smooth yellow pencil with the chewed off eraser. "


If you're looking for books with a similar feel, please check out the following reviews:

I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde

Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean

Imagine by John Lennon

Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo



And on another note, don't forget to grab a whole bunch of free Valentine clip art!

Here and Now by Julia Denos. Book review with follow-up activities.



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