Title: Imagine Eating Lemons: A Children’s introduction to Mindfulness
Author: Jason Rhodes
Illustrator: Richard Dearing
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Paperback
Description: Welcome to Chester Chestnut’s minature woodland world.
Follow Chester’s journey as he gains a clearer understanding of his thoughts and feelings through the practice of mindfulness.
With vibrant illustrations and playful rhyme we discover some of the simple benefits of mindfulness and how we can use it to settle our busy everyday minds.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is a brilliant and clever picture book teaching children some basic mindfulness in an easy to grasp way. Chester Chestnut is often happy but sometimes his tummy feels strange and he starts to worry about things, such as what everyone will think of him on his first day of school. Chester worries about making a mistake and before he knows it his mind is filled with so many horrible thoughts. But Chester knows how to calm himself, by imagining eating lemons. The paperback is wider than A4 in size and is filled with thick matt pages of some really lovely illustrations and text.
The story is clever in how simple it is, showing us three different scenarios, one after the other, where Chester starts to feel very worried and stressed. Each time he gets worried though, Chester does some simple mindfulness, taking a deep breath, taking the time to feel his breathing and his toes, and before he knows it, he feels better and what he was afraid of turns out to not have been as scary or difficult to do as Chester initially thought. I like the simplicity of this story and how Chester is able to do some basic mindfulness techniques, breathing calmly and slowly, to help him recover to a happier and calmer state. It’s something that we could all remember to do when we are feeling stressed and it’s something I think will benefit a lot of children especially those that get worried or stressed easily.
I like how this story starts each mindfulness section with the ‘imagine eating lemons…’ pointing out how powerful the mind is that it can make your mouth water just by thinking about eating a sour lemon. I completely believe in how powerful the mind can be in affecting our bodies, so I’m glad that this book helps children realise this too, with such a fun story and such a simple technique kids can try themselves if they ever feel overwhelmed, worried or stressed.
The book rhymes throughout, making this so much more easy to take in. I like how Chester’s situations work out each time he breathes deeply and relaxes, and how everything doesn’t seem as scary after this simple mindfulness. The repetition is good and the illustrations add to the story, being so fun and colourful, it makes them so engaging. The pictures have lots of fun things to spot aside from Chester and the other characters, such as the fun snail that appears hidden in every picture, and the fun objects that hold similarities to our own like the cereal packets of the train carriages and what the sofa in Chester’s house is made of. Each picture is so fun to look at and I love how you can see Chester and the other chracters expressions really well.
Overall this is a great introduction to mindfulness for children and a better mindfulness picture book than some others I have read. The rhyming story and pictures make this such a fun and engaging read, and the information given to children on how to be able to calm themselves is great and so easy for all children to try. I really have enjoyed this book and know I would have benefitted from reading this as a child. It’s a book I really recommend to everyone!
What do you think of this book? Do you think it’s important to teach mindfulness to children? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂