Lea McKnoulty, Making Mindful Magic, Tien Wah Press, Nov 2015, 36pp., $14.95, ISBN 9780994255204
Let’s face it, we live in a crazy, frenetic, stressful world. Look around. There’s a lot of pressure for kids to perform, to achieve, to keep up. We are all suffering from information over-load and mad addictions to technology. I think Making Mindful Magic is like a calm breath of fresh air. It quietly invites kids to slow down, re-connect with their surroundings, nature and life in general.
Making Mindful Magic was created and self-published by early childhood teacher, Lea McKnoulty. Here she has presented a series of simple activities for kids, each outlined on a double page spread, for example – Sit quietly, Follow a bird, Walk barefoot on grass, Find stars, Watch waves and more. These quiet directives accompanied by soft pastel illustrations will spark conversation, heighten a child’s sense of wonder and enhance their understanding of the world. According to McKnoulty children who are grounded have clearer thought patterns and are more receptive to learning new things. They are less likely to be anxious and more likely to be happy.
Lea McKnoulty’s idea is innovative and cleverly simple. It is a quiet reminder to us all that it’s important to take time to reflect in this mad world. Making Mindful Magic may be read in one sitting or opened at one random page at a time. More detailed notes in the back of the book give further suggestions for parents, care-givers and teachers.
I highly recommend Making Mindful Magic because it is such a special book and gentle concept. A portion of book sales goes to World Youth International.
Reviewed by Wendy Fitzgerald