This adorable gem-of-a -picture-book is the perfect introduction to mindfulness and meditation for the littlest learners. Beautiful, engaging artwork accompanies simple text in this book, providing for the perfect read aloud. The book invites opportunities for valuable discussion through the experience of Emma and her little brother, Henry.
Emma, a mindful little girl herself, often likes to stop and pause when the business of life becomes too much. Her brother Henry, however, is what she describes as a “lemonade hurricane.” Pictures in the book can be used to invite little listeners to discuss Henry’s positive, and sometimes negative behaviors (like knocking over Emma’s block castle). She expresses her desire to be rid of the “hurricane” so she can enjoy her brother more. By modeling simple mindfulness meditation techniques, Emma teaches Henry to be still. In this state, he imagines himself seated peacefully on an elephant. Here students could be asked where they would envision themselves to be peaceful.
A delightful author’s note at the end of the book provides a further discussion of the “lemonade hurricane” analogy. Thicht Naht Hahn, a Buddhist monk, had in his youth likened a clear glass of apple juice in which the pulp had settled, to the clarity of the mind when settling into meditation. The glass of lemonade, when the pulp is stirred by a “hurricane,” would become clear when still. The final page of the book introduces mindful meditation exercises that can easily be practiced with a class of little ones, followed by questions for reflection such as, “How did sitting feel?”
Any young one with a little “lemonade hurricane” sibling is sure to relate, as will the child who him or herself struggles with sitting down to “just be.”