Puppy in My Head: A Book About Mindfulness

HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063037670.
PreS-Gr 2–Have you ever wondered why it’s hard to focus when you are scared, excited, or worried? Gravel explains mindfulness for preschoolers and lower-elementary grades. The narrative is told from the perspective of an unnamed child who has tan skin and brown hair. A puppy named Ollie lives in her head. When Ollie needs to calm down, the narrator describes how she controls her dog using her magical leash. This invisible leash is actually her breath. The narrator practices deep, slow breathing. This is a clever narrative tactic to introduce the concept of mindfulness. The child encourages people to take time to listen and accept themselves (and their inner Ollie). It may sound a little meta for a nonfiction picture book, but, ultimately, thanks in large part to Gravel’s signature quirky digital illustrations, it works. The antics of the playful dog are likely to strike a chord with kids, particularly those who struggle to control their emotions. Parents, therapists, and teachers will find the text to be useful in giving children the tools to deal with anxiety.
VERDICT Make room for this one-of-a-kind book that explains emotions in a way kids can understand…even if it is a tad abstract.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing