Offering entertainment, a valuable message, and with its clever and engaging development of a life skill, Take a Breath is sure to be a valuable book to have both in the classroom and at home. Relaxation and mindfulness has never been so much fun!
Every morning, the birds go out for their first flight of the day. All except Bob. Whilst his feathered friends are up, up, up and away, he is down, down, down on the ground tending to the grass and plants and conversing with worms and tortoises. His friend Crow thinks he just needs to, ‘Take a breath.’ Bob is obviously taking lots of breaths but there’s breathing and then there’s B-R-E-A-T-H-I-N-G. Will Crow be the answer to Bob’s ruffled feathers or will Bob be grounded forever…
Witty and funny, this bird-brained tale on mindfulness and meditation is clever and wise. With anxious Bob struggling to fly and having a crisis of confidence it takes a meditating crow to save the day. Crow’s step-by-step guide to breathing is amusing, simple, effective and can easily be joined in with; it is perfect for calming wound-up minds and bodies and for relaxing stressed out birds.
Affable Bob is an awesome little character who despite pretending that he is cool with not being able to fly really struggles with not being able to do something that should be so easy, he is after all, a bird. A particular highlight are his hilarious attempts to get himself airborne. The tried and tested sea-saw and large rock combo, a balloon, a catapult, a flying beanie and springs are all employed with the same disastrous result…Bob flat on his back and seeing pretty stars.
We all have times of need when our own strategies and attempts are not working and would benefit from the thoughts and assistance of someone else. Swoop in Crow, a charming chap who himself has dealt with his own struggles (sitting on a wire was not second-nature to him). Crow is the friend that Bob needs. Patient, kind and encouraging, Crow is more than happy to lend a wing to cry on; he understands Bob’s problem, is willing to listen and is able to give him a new technique that may just help Bob take flight.
Breathing may sound simple but mindfulness breathing is a skill (one that I really struggle with - perhaps I need a teacher like Crow) and although it isn’t going to suddenly get Bob’s wings working it does help him clear his mind and take ownership of the task.
Featuring brilliant and expressive illustrations, the sweet story about believing in yourself and the benefits of using breathing as a road to self-confidence will appeal to many readers who are anxious or struggling to do things, especially those that their peers can. As Bob learns, ‘Sometimes you have to be grounded before you can fly.’
With huge thanks to Allen & Unwin for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 4+.