Sunday, September 14, 2014

#30BooksforPeace- Part 4- A Search for Inner Peace

After reading 21 books for peace with my kids, it occurred to me that we were missing any books about inner peace. After all, if there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in our hearts. My belief that reading children's books is as important for grownups has been reaffirmed during these final nine books. I am pretty sure that I have benefited from these books as much as my kids, if not more.

 22. Is Nothing Something?: Kids' Questions and Zen Answers About Life, Death, Family, Friendship, and Everything in Between by Thich Nhat Hanh.  This book is a collection of some of life's toughest questions that a child may pose with answers penned by Thich Nhat Hanh. While the book was written by a Buddist, the book feels more like a guide how to find peace in your heart than a religious text. I reviewed the book back in April, and since purchasing it, it has maintained a spot in our regular reads pile. For the purpose of finding inner peace, I especially love this quote from the book, which summarizing the conclusion we have come to from reading these #30BooksforPeace:
"I used to try to create peace, but I was not successful. Then, one day I realized that breathing in and breathing out mindfully could help bring peace to my body and mind. That was the day I truly started practicing peace."
 23. The Story of Ferdinandby Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. I was reminded of this great book by Books Mama's post in August about the book. What an amazing story about nonviolence! Bulls are supposed to fight, but Ferdinand would rather sit peacefully and observe the beauty in the world that surrounds him. His mother is not afraid to let her son be different from the other bulls, giving him the freedom to be true to himself. Even when thrown into the ring for a bull fight, he choose to admire the beauty instead of fighting. An amazing analogy for mindfulness and peace.
24. A Good Day Board Book by Kevin Henkes. Some days may seem like bad days, but bad days can turn into good days. In this sparsely worded book, colorful illustrations with contrasting colors capture even the youngest of readers attention. The message of this book is simple- there are good days and bad days, but we need to find the joy in both the good and bad to find peace.

25. The Twelve Gifts of Birth by Charlene Costanzo. I am borrowing this beauty of a book from a dear friend of mine. This beautiful book shares twelve gifts that one mother told her children they were born with and how they can use these gifts to make the world a better place. This book would make a wonderful baby shower gift for any expecting mother. I love these simple "gifts" and the message that you can make change for the better.

26.Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing. My daughter borrowed this book from the library because they read it at her school and it makes her feel better about herself. Want to teach your children to be bucket fillers? Bucket fillers are those that go around adding to other people's buckets of happiness by spreading joy and love. Did you fill a bucket today? Finding inner peace requires you to be a bucket filler.

27. Woolburby Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper. If there is to be peace in the heart, you have to be true to yourself. Woolbur is the perfect book to teach kids how to march to the beat of their own drum, even if that means being completely different from everyone else. My favorite character in this book is the yogi Grandpaa goat that is constantly telling the concerned parents of Woolbur to not worry. Go forth young little Woolbur- do something that is completely unheard of!

28. You Are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo and book
29. Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story by Giselle Shardlow and illustrated by Emily Gedzyk. 

Helping my kids quiet their minds has always been a struggle of mine because I have trouble quieting my own mind at night. We were lucky enough to have been asked to review Good Night, Animal World  back in March. It has been a blessing to find this book and to discover other children's books that share fun yoga poses. Both of these books share calming poses inspired by animals. I love yoga poses inspired by animals because young children love pretending to be animals. These books have become a staple to our bedtime routines, encouraging us to calm down both our bodies and minds, making them ready for bed.

30. Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. The final book that made our list for #30booksforpeace is this amazing book by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. At first, Jonathan James listens to his inner Whatif Monster-  imaging all the horrible, no-good things that could go wrong when you try something new. However, Jonathan James realizes that maybe, just maybe things could go amazingly right if he tries something new and his Whatif Monster becomes a confidant to share his dreams and fears with.

We purchased this book about a year ago and has been a huge blessing to my oldest, who tends to worry endlessly about things. And we are not the only people that find this book completely comforting. When I read about the Whatif Military Challenge, I knew I had add this book to our list. This book changed the lives of one military family after the mom saw how much it helped her child cope with the stresses surrounding military deployment and having a father suffering from PTSD. Her mission is to share this book with every family that has disabled vet, in the hopes that it may help other families. Check out the website and see how you can help her accomplish this amazing dream to bring peace to military families around the country.

Make sure to check out Parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series.
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