The Moment is Your Life (And So Is This One)
Author: Mariam Gates; Illustrator: Libby VanderPloeg
Published May 22, 2018 by Dial
Book Summary: Don’t just do something, be here.
The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now. When you are completely present and not distracted by regrets, worries, and plans, even for a little while, you begin to feel more confident and can deal more easily with everything you experience. This is mindfulness: paying attention to this very moment, on purpose and without judgment–simply being present with curiosity.
This engaging guide, packed with simple exercises and endearing full-color artwork, provides a handy starting point for bringing mindfulness into your daily life. Chapters on meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing explain the benefits of these practices, and you are free to pick and choose what to try. There are quick exercises throughout, and a more extensive tool kit at the end of each chapter. The final chapter offers satisfying five-day challenges that map out ways to pull all of the book’s mindfulness techniques together in your day-to-day life.
With the appeal of a workbook or guided journal, and full of examples relevant to tweens and teens today, this book will be your trusted companion as you begin the valuable, stress-relieving work of being still with skill.
About the Author: Mariam Gates has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University and has been teaching children for more than twenty years. The founder of Kid Power Yoga, she now devotes herself to training children and adults in yoga and mindfulness. She is the author of the picture books Meditate with Me, Good Night Yoga, and Good Morning Yoga. She lives with her husband, Rolf Gates, and their two children in Santa Cruz, California.
About the Author: Libby VanderPloeg is an illustrator and designer living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She grew up in Grand Haven, Michigan, on the edge of the Great Lakes, and since then, she has lived in Grand Rapids, Chicago, New York, and Stockholm. She’s created book covers and editorial illustrations for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Design*Sponge, among others, and as well as a line of cards and prints that she sells via her Etsy shop and in stores.
Review: I wish I’d had this book as a pre-teen/early adolescent. It would have truly helped me as I struggled with a lot of emotions that made me frustrated, unsure, and overwhelmed. This is a book that has a very expansive age range. I’d give it to a reader between the ages of 8 and 14, but it can be read and appreciated by people of all ages. After I was done reading it, I gifted it to a preservice teacher student who is very passionate about infusing mindfulness in the classroom. We spent a lot of time talking about how she might infuse this book into her student teaching with targeted read alouds. I loved Gates’ picture books (see Good Morning Yoga), and this book was no different. It’s thoughtfully crafted and incredibly relevant to young people. I particularly appreciated the action steps within the text. This provided me with concrete steps for infusing mindfulness into my life.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: As a classroom teacher, I would use this book as an initiation each day. It’s always very difficult to get students into the learning mindset. They come in with baggage and also with a lot of energy (positive and negative). This book serves as a reset and allows students to be mindful of their bodies and minds. It also allows students to destress to prepare for the classroom learning.
Discussion Questions: How do the author and illustrator work together to effectively present the material?; What is the author’s purpose? How does she effectively convey this purpose?; Which sections felt most relevant to your life?; What are the key takeaways that emerged from this book? How will you employ the strategies in this book directly into your life?
Read This If You Loved:
Follow All the Stops on the Tour:
May 15 – Little Flower Yoga – Review
May 16 – Crossroad Reviews – Review
May 17 – Alissa Yoga – Review
May 18 – Whitney Davis Yoga – Review
May 21 – Prose and Khan – Review + Favorite Yoga Poses with Pictures
May 22 – Librariel Book Reviews – Favorite Yoga Poses + Review
May 23 – Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust – Review
May 24 – Unleashing Readers – Review
**Thank you to Friya at Penguin for sending this book for review!**