1.23.2015

PPBF: What Does It Mean To Be Present?

Fair warning: Today's PPBF might grab ahold and not let go!


Author: Rana DiOrio
Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler
Publisher: Little Pickle Press
Date: July 2010
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Non-fiction
Themes: attitude, living in the moment, mindfulness
Brief synopsis: Journey through the pages for practical suggestions about practicing mindfulness and being in the now.
Opening pages: What does it mean to be present? 
Does it mean showing up in class? No.
Resources: Read a review at Books That Heal Kids {here}
Compare/contrast similar titles at The Mindful Classroom {here}.
  Watch the book trailer that's on You Tube:


Why I like this book: From the minute I saw this book posted on Roxanne's blog Books That Heal Kids, I knew I had to have a copy. In this world where we tend to run around like rodents in a rat race, busy-ness is glorified and people are plugged in to the latest app on their device instead of people and their feelings, its message is a must. And not just for kids. Read the book aloud, then ask students to reflect on this quote:

Photography by Cheri Cullen

Talk with students about what being present means to them. Ask them what that looks like, sounds like, feels like for them. Then ask who they wish were more present, and for whom they could be more present. 
{Don't make them answer that aloud unless they want to share.} 
Go back to the opening page. Being present is not just about showing up. What does the author mean? Do students agree? Why or not? Find out which pages they connect with, agree with, disagree with and why. Have them illustrate the book's mantra: Every day is a gift; that's why we call it the present.


For enrichment, you might even want to read Spencer Johnson's


Check out this book; I think you'll be happy you did.
Oh, and don't forget to unwrap and enjoy the present today.

For more PPBF picks, visit Susanna's blog.




22 comments:

  1. I love Rana di Orio's What does it Mean series and this is no exception. It is such an important topic to discuss with kids and one that is great to present through the medium of a picture book. great choice!

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    1. I'm eager to read her other books! Thanks for stopping by, Joanna.

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    1. I think you'll really find some good food for thought!

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  3. This is my kind of a book and subject -- something I have been studying myself for years.I am so delighted to see about on the topic for kids. It is great to introduce the concept to young children because they already have a better understanding of living in the moment that adults. As you indicated, they begin to lose it as they age. Mindfulness begins with being aware of how your own body feels. Being aware of your mind chatter and how it controls you. Wish this was a serious part of the school curriculum and taught yearly as a child matures. Children would grow up with a better sense of themselves and others, have a greater appreciation for life and so on. I've haven't read the adult book you mentioned but will check it out. I have studied Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth" were two adult books that guided me. Deepak Chopra also talks a lot about this topic, as do others. Beautiful selection for children's books -- one I will purchase for grandchildren.

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    1. Spot on as always, Pat. I always smile when you come by and share your reflections and connections.

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  4. As families are scattered farther apart it is hard to be physically present. I'm interested to read this book to see how it addresses the subject of "presence."

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    1. Hi Wendy! I'm not certain it at all addresses physical distance and disconnects; it's more about how to be present emotionally where you're actually present physically. Still, I think you'll find it interesting.

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  5. I agree, sounds terrific, and I'd like to see how this was approached for children. Thanks for posting!

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    1. And thank you for coming by. It really is adorable and age-appropriate!

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  6. This looks VERY interesting - fascinating really. Such an important thing for today. Thanks for sharing it!

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    1. Fascinating fits it perfectly. Three examples of what PRESENT is not, followed by many examples of what PRESENT is. So nicely done. Thank you, Joanne, for stopping by.

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  7. A very interesting topic and great to see in Picture book form. Like Pat I agree it should be taught in schools yearly, especially with such themes as presence, appreciation, thoughtfulness and mindfulness. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's just not something that we think to teach, but then, where do we think they're going to learn these skills anyway? They're with us SO much of the time that we owe it to them to intentionally teach mindset, appreciation, attitude, etc! We are on the same page, for sure, and I appreciate your reflections!

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  8. What a great, and important, topic. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. My pleasure ... and you're right ... important and great! I'm glad I could share it with you.

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  9. I don't know this, but I'm ordering it tonight. I have been teaching my 2nd grade about Civil Rights lately and this really hits home. thank you for sharing.

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    1. Oh, Kimberley, I think you're gonna love it. The illustrations are brilliant and the descriptors, well, they're right on target. Do stop back by and let us know what you and your students think about it!

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  10. this looks like a book I could use! too often I get caught up in the rat-race of doing; I could use some just "being" time...

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  11. Oh, Wow! What a great topic! I try to teach folks about this very thing! It's so hard for you humans to grasp! I'll have to check this book out. Thanks Ms Gruener!!

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  12. What a lovely theme. Sometime I find it so difficult to be present. This is a nice reminder to take a break and pay attention.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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