Kate Coombs

Breathe and Be | Breathe and Be Story Hour Kit

Breathe and Be
A Book of Mindfulness Poems

written by Kate Coombs
illustrated by Anna Emilia Laitinen

Sounds True, November 1, 2017
ISBN-10: 1622039378 / ISBN-13: 978-1622039371

How I rush rush rush!
Thoughts flutter and dart like birds.
Slow down, thoughts.
Come quietly with me.
There is time to breathe and be.

From the Publisher

Hear thunder crash, feel your toes tap sand, and watch leaves drift softly away on a quiet stream. The simple poems in Breathe and Be help children learn mindfulness as they connect to the beauty of the natural world. . . .

From the Critics

from Kirkus Reviews

Through the poems, the narrator's relationship to the environment is analyzed: thoughts are observed and flow like "little fish./They shine blue, green, red, yellow." The narrator's breath is "a river of peace.". . . Finnish artist Laitinen's delicate, detailed pen-and-watercolor illustrations of children in nature are well-suited to the contemplative nature of the poems and will work well in the context of a yoga or meditation group for young children or as a gentle, reassuring bedtime story. A successful introduction to the concept of mindfulness for young children.

from School Library Journal

These 14 original tanka poems introduce children to the concept of mindfulness and incorporate meditation practices. The first poem sets the tone, encouraging readers to breathe in and out for "My breath/is a river of peace." While the poems are independent of each other, their stark beauty and personification of nature unify the work. Each powerful emotion conveyed through figurative language, whether it is anxiety, doubt, fear, or anger, is reinforced with expressive watercolors.

from Writing the World for Kids blog

I have often wondered what we tell kids who are in horrible situations: refugees, people displaced by natural disasters, kids in abusive homes. . . So many times, we can offer limited practical, immediate help. And though the practical problems need to be solved, too, I would wish to place this book in the hand of every child in a dire situation. Because sometimes all they have is this moment. This breath.
Reviewer: Poet Laura Purdie Salas


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