20 Kids Books to Manifest a More Mindful New Year
Books about mindfulness can be powerful tools for supporting children’s overall mental health and wellbeing. When chosen with intention, they can help facilitate incredibly impactful conversations with kids and even help them develop new mindsets and practices.
We have compiled a list of books encouraging living in the present and being mindful of individual feelings, behaviors and experiences. We hope that all of these books help nurture more emotionally resilient children with healthier senses of self. You can shop for all these books on our Bookshop page.
The Mindfulness Moments for Kids Series
Author: Kira Wiley | Illustrator: Anni Betts | Publisher: Rodale Kids
The Mindfulness Moments for Kids Series includes board books and picture books for children of all ages. Unlike a lot of picture books that are turned into board books, the board books in this series are completely age-appropriate. They simply break down more detailed content from the picture books into smaller chunks that are easily accessible for even the youngest readers. We especially love Bunny Breaths and Hot Cocoa Calm.
Both picture books, Breathe Like a Bear and Peaceful Like a Panda, include more than 30 mindfulness activities that can be done with kids anytime and anywhere. Once children get the hang of the exercises, they can be powerful tools for helping them regulate their bodies, breaths and emotions.
Author: Dr. Jillian Roberts | Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
This book normalizes all types of baby and toddler feelings, and serves as a calm down tool. It reminds grown-ups that they have the important role of sharing their calm with little ones when they need it most. The photographs of babies will be extra appealing to small children and also serve as a supportive tool for thinking aloud and modeling how to navigate big feelings.
Tisha and the Blossoms
Author: Wendy Meddour | Illustrator: Daniel Egeneus | Publisher: Candlewick
Everywhere young Tisha goes, she has to rush - to the bus, to clean-up before recess, and even during recess so she has enough time for lunch. When her school day is finally over, all she wants to do is slow down. She and her family then embark on a sensory experience where they listen to the sounds around them, savor each and every bite, and notice and appreciate all sorts of ordinary wonders.
This gentle story is a reminder of what's possible when we all take the time to pause and marvel at the little things that surround us.
Listening With My Heart & Listening to My Body
Author: Gabi Garcia | Illustrator: Ying Hui Tan | Publisher: Skinned Knee Publishing
Both of these books are incredible tools for anyone working with and raising children. In Listening With My Heart, children learn the power of self-compassion and how it is tied to our well-being and emotional resiliency. Listening to My Body encourages children to notice and name their feelings and the bodily sensations that go with them.
Gabi Garcia is also the author of numerous other books we love that help us nurture more mindful, self-aware and compassionate kids. We especially love that all of her books can be purchased in Spanish. Don’t miss: Find Your Calm, Mateo Finds His Wow, I Can Do Hard Things and The Friend I Need.
Her website is a wonderful and free resource that includes posters, discussion guides and activity guides corresponding to each book.
Author: Rashmi Bismark | Illustrator: Morgan Huff | Publisher: Mango & Marigold Press
This is a beautiful intergenerational story about an Indian-African child named Anu and her beloved Appuppa, or grandpa. He teaches her about the mantra OM that can be used for centering and calming during meditation. At first, Anu struggles to maintain her focus and keep her mind from wandering, but soon, she learns that OM can remind her to focus again on the sounds, feelings and sensations she’s experiencing instead.
The author of this book is a physician with a mindfulness-based, integrative approach to health. They have also collaborated to create a super helpful curriculum guide. Download it here for free.
Mindful Mr. Sloth
Author/Illustrator: Katy Hudson | Publisher: Capstone Press
In this book, Sasha is always looking for the next thing to do, and moving quickly from one experience to the next. When she discovers and then forms an unlikely friendship with a sloth, she learns a really important lesson. Mr. Sloth helps her see that there are two ways to have fun - fast and slow.
This is a sweet and relatable book that teaches kids about the beauty of slowing down and appreciating the little things. Katy Hudson is also the author of one of our favorite winter read aloud books, A Loud Winter’s Nap, and the very popular book, Too Many Carrots. Her text and illustrations are always full of fun dialogue and whimsy!
Sometimes All I Need is Me
Author/Illustrator: Juliana Perdomo | Publisher: Candlewick
This is a really special book that reassures children that sometimes, everything they need is already inside of them - they just have to be mindful. The young girl in this story finds comfort, peace, joy and love when she is surrounded by people she cares about and doing things she loves and also when she’s enjoying quiet moments alone.
She discovers that while familiar people and places have the power to build her up, she also has the strength to navigate emotions and experiences on her own. This is a powerful lesson for children to learn about themselves and others.
I am Thinking My Life
Author: Allysun Atwater | Illustrator: Stevie Lewis | Publisher: Bala Kids
This is a meditative book about the power of positive thinking. I am Thinking My Life is a child’s first person look at how their imaginative and hopeful dreams and desires can manifest themselves into reality. Challenges and obstacles are portrayed as storms, and yet, through positive thinking and a strong sense of self, the young narrator continues to persevere. You cannot help but root for her! The bright, bold illustrations are so whimsical that you’ll return to them again and again, finding new discoveries each time. We really love this book!
Namaste is a Greeting
Author: Suma Subramaniam | Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat | Publisher: Candlewick
“Namaste calms your heart when things aren’t going right.
Namaste is saying “You matter.”
What is namaste? It’s found in a smile, a friendship, a celebration. It exists in silence; it can be said when you’re happy or when you’re feeling low. For one small girl in a bustling city, namaste (“I bow to you”) is all around her as she and her mother navigate a busy marketplace—and when she returns with a little plant and chooses to give it to an elderly neighbor, it can be seen in the caring bond between them. In a sweet, universal text, debut author Suma Subramaniam shines a light on a word with significance far beyond yoga class, while artist Sandhya Prabhat makes the concept of mindfulness come alive in delightful illustrations likely to draw children in again and again.”
The Rabbit Listened
Author/Illustrator: Cori Doerrfeld | Publisher: Dial Books
The Rabbit Listened has been a favorite of ours for several years. Too often, kids are taught that there’s a right and wrong way to process pain, and they’re encouraged to follow an adult's lead when it comes to navigating through it. In this book, children will feel validated for expressing their emotions and feeling okay about not being ready to say or do anything at first. They will learn the value of showing up, taking cues and just being present for the people they love. Sometimes, a listening ear and peace and quiet is all someone needs to begin to heal.
You may enjoy these free coloring pages from the illustrator.
Here and Now
Author: Julia Denos | Illustrator: E.B. Goodale | Publisher: Clarion Books
This intentional book grounds readers in the moment - reminding them of the amazing things that are happening each and every second and connecting us all. It’s the perfect book to read aloud and reflect on the power of being present. The gorgeous and thoughtful illustrations and text are sure to make it a favorite tool for embracing mindfulness and calm.
Julia Denos has a few free resources to go with this book that you can access here.
All Around Us
Author: Xelena Gonzalez | Illustrator: Adriana M. Garcia | Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
All Around Us is another favorite intergenerational story about a child and his grandfather. Grandfather explains how circles are all around us - both physically and metaphorically representing the cyclical and interconnected nature of life. Together, they share family traditions and explore the importance of being good stewards to the earth and each other. The breathtaking illustrations and peaceful text make this book a wonderful one to share and contemplate again and again.
Peace is an Offering/La Paz es una ofrenda
Author: Annette Le Box | Illustrator: Stephanie Graegin | Publisher: Dial Books
This is a sweet, bilingual book that follows a group of children finding the everyday joys and feelings of peace in their community. While it shows children experiencing hardship and loss, it also reminds them to look for and appreciate the simple joys that are part of the everyday rhythm of life - “peace is a joining, not a pulling apart. It’s the courage to bear a wounded heart.” The book also includes questions and prompts to help guide your discussion with children.
What I Like Most
Author: Mary Murphy | Illustrator: Zhu Cheng-Liang | Publisher: Candlewick
This is the sweetest lyrical story about an Asian-American girl and all the observations she makes about what she likes throughout her day. It is an especially tender reminder of how meaningful the simple things can be when you’re spending time with someone you love - in this story, it’s her mother. This book can help children explore the meaning of gratitude, and how giving thanks and appreciation may help you be more mindful of all the good around you. This book is sure to tug on your heart.
Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down
Author: Kate Dopirak | Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal | Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Hurry Up! A Book About Slowing Down is another great book to read aloud that children will relate to. The main character is rushing through one activity to the next until they’re confronted with the word, STOP! Suddenly, they’re slowing down to appreciate what’s going on around them, and discovering the beauty and peace of everyday happenings.
Rain Before Rainbows
Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls | Illustrator: David Litchfield | Publisher: Candlewick
Rain Before Rainbows is a book that’s about navigating grief and moving forward with hope and promise. The captivating illustrations and simple text will draw in any reader who has ever struggled through challenging life experiences. This is not as obvious of a pick for a list about mindfulness, even still, we think it’s a powerful lesson for anyone to learn that life ebbs and flows in an unpredictable way, and that so often, darkness leads to light. It can feel liberating to be mindful that change is often right around the corner.