King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City

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King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City

By Susan D. Sweet and Brenda S. Miles, Authors

Bryan Langdo, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, Oct. 17, 2016

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Distractions, Slowing down, Paying attention to the present moment,  Mindfulness

OpeningIn a Great Big City, there lived a gorilla named Marvin. Marvin wasn’t like other gorillas. He didn’t stomp his feet, he never wanted to fight, and he never pounded his chest with a thump thump roar! 

Book Synopsis: Meet Marvin. He’s a gorilla living in a Great Big City. He is peaceful and composed and enjoys every minute of his day. He doesn’t approach life with a thump thump roar. Instead Marvin experiences the world mindfully through his senses. He’s the King of Calm.

Why I like this book:

The authors have written an engaging and entertaining book about Marvin, who is a calm and gentle character who notices things other people miss because they are distracted or too busy to care. When Marvin slowly eats his banana he notices the bright yellow outside and the sweet ripe inside. His grandfather doesn’t understand Marvin because he’s impatient with life, gobbles his food and is ready to move on to their next activity. While Marvin  is very observant, Grandpa never really takes a moment to stop to enjoy his surroundings until…

I am pleased to see the growing number of books that encourage kids to slow down, pay attention to whatever they are doing in the moment, and notice the beautiful world around them. It is good to introduce mindfulness practice to children. Start at a young age, when they are open and eager to explore everything they see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.

Bryan Langdo’s illustrations are colorful, lively, diverse and expressive. Children will enjoy studying the detail on each page. As parents and teachers read this book to children, the illustrations are a great place to ask questions. What are the people at the fountain doing and does anyone notice its beauty except Marvin? What happens to the other people in the illustrations when they are distracted in the city scene? How do they react? Are they calm or reactive?

Resources: The book includes a Reader’s Note filled with information about learning to pay attention to your life through your senses by living mindfully.  Start by paying attention to what you are eating rather than gobbling it down. Be more observant when you take a walk and notice the smells in the air, the cloud formations, or look into a stream. Is it a cool or sticky day? Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you.  What do you hear? Sit on a bench and observe. How do you feel?

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

28 thoughts on “King Calm: Mindful Gorilla in the City

    • Yes, it would. I know it is something I try to practice. But, if we teach kids at a young age, it may have a better chance of becoming part of who they are. We are so busy and we need to slow down!

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    • I think it is natural for children to observe and be mindful. The key is to keep the wonder alive. I think more adults are interested in learning to slow themselves down and be more mindful and present.

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  1. This sounds like an interesting book. I enjoy all your comments especially as I write for children. I have a short story about the boy who gave Jesus the loaves and fish. I imagined his name and home situation which made him arrive late to hear Jesus (called Yeshua)A critique suggested an older storybook development and now I am wondering about it. I have written 14 books but this is so different.

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  2. I’m with you. Children’s lives seem to be getting more hectic all the time. If they can be allowed to slow down and let in some mindfulness, that would be a good thing.

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  3. Pingback: Zen Picture Books to Teach Kids Mindfulness

  4. Pingback: Bibliotherapy Spotlight: King Calm | Expressive Social Worker

    • This book is a lot of fun! I love there are many more books available to children about mindfulness and learning to live in the moment — which many children do naturally. Just need to keep it going.

      Like

    • This book is a lot of fun! I love there are many more books available to children about mindfulness and learning to live in the moment — which many children do naturally. Just need to keep it going.

      Like

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