PPBF: My Magic Breath

There really aren't strong enough words to describe the incredibleness of this past week, so I'm sharing some shots to try to paint the picture. Friday night, some counseling colleagues from a neighboring district threw me a surprise party to celebrate my Encore Career. It left me speechless. I know; weird, right? 

It was a BiG surprise, for sure, that filled me with joy 
and left me over-the-moon with gratitude. 
It has been my greatest pleasure to mentor 
and grow with these beautiful kindness warriors.

On Saturday, I went to our local Marching Band Competition, where my character cam saw these Alvin HS football players showing up to support their Band, then giving them a standing ovation after watching their performance. This, dear friends, is what school spirit and unity look like. I'm told they haven't had a winning season, but this play scored a touchdown in my book.

On Sunday, I traveled to Aggieland to watch our son Joshua play his horn in the Hullabaloo Band for a tough five-game volleyball match against Kentucky. 
Proud mama moment when he made the big screen. 

On Monday, I traveled to Abilene to keynote a mini-conference and work with and grow alongside some passionate school counselors in Region 14. 
They were challenged by and loved this index card challenge

On Tuesday, my podcast interview with Bethany Hill went live;
tune in {here} for a booster shot of energy and joy.

The rest of the week, which happens to have been Red Ribbon Week and Character Counts! Week, I spent making school visits, to check in one some colleagues, bring them a red mindfulness pillow, and remind them that they are loved. Today I went to Gilmore Elementary to check on my superhero friend of twenty years, Tricia DelBello. Isn't her school's PreK Tee adorable? What a joy to spend time catching up and getting to jam a bit with her on the ukulele.

After that visit, I went to Westwood because this first-grade superhero told his counselor that he had something for me. He told me that since I was his BFF, he wanted to see me again. So, on his own, he gathered up some of his prized possessions, including a small frisbee, a paper airplane, a spider ring, and a Gideon's Bible, his name tag from Kindergarten and some stickers from VBS, and he brought them to school for me. Because he missed me.

For fun, I played him two songs: You Are My Hero and The Lava Song. And I left with this incredibly sweet memory forever etched on my heart. Be still my soul. 

It has, indeed, been another magical week.

And speaking of magic, check out today's PPBF title:

Title: My Magic Breath
Author: Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor
Illustrator: Michelle Polizzi
Publisher: Harper Collins
Birth Date: May 15, 2018
Suitable for: all ages
Theme: mindfulness, emotional regulation, peace
Brief synopsis: Children learn to unleash the magic of their breath to celebrate happy feelings and manage sad and angry feelings.
Opening page: Do you have the magic breath?

Listen in on a Beatrice Woods read-aloud {here}.
Read about Ten Tips for Mindful Breathing {here}.
Try a Mindful Breathing Exercise {here}.
Enrich with freebie printable materials from the publisher {here}.
Explore mindfulness materials on my Pinterest page {here}.

Sing along with The Mindfulness Way:

The chords are G and D7 on the ukulele.
Just sayin' ... 
There's nothing like strumming your worries away
while you're intentionally breathing in calm and exhaling chaos.

Why I like this book: In an era now being referred to as Generation Stress, we simply cannot have enough powerful resources in our stress-management mindfulness arsenal. This one will help children to use the one thing that they already have, readily accessible, their breath, to help regulate all of their emotions while they learn to use it to manage their thoughts about and responses to their big, uncomfortable feelings. That, and the illustrations are glorious. 

For more PPBF picks, head to Susanna Hill's blog next.

Happy weekend; enjoy the harvest moon.


  1. What a wonderful surprise for the quality queen who has mentored so many teachers to carry your light forward to other kids. But I loved the little boy who wanted to see his hero and BFF! What a beautiful book for kids about breathing and giving them the tools to regulate themselves. I am so glad publishers are finely publishing so many books around this theme. Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary kids.

    1. That little love bug totally made my day, especially when he asked me when I would be coming back to work there. {Sigh}. Thank you, Pat, for stopping by and celebrating wtih me!

  2. What a special week, and so much love.

    using our breath and mindfulness are getting much more radio time in picture books, which is wonderful. I do think that all adults that come into contact with books like this are transformed a little too.

    1. You hit the nail on the head; so much love. And yes, this title and others like it are suitable for ALL ages, for sure!! Always fun to "see" you, Joanna.

  3. Sounds like you've been having a fabulous time! And I agree, you can't have too many ways to get kids (and adults) to release their stress. This looks like a great book. I'll be taking a look. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for popping in, Jilanne; yes, it is incredible to have the flexibility to do some speaking, some podcasting and writing, some school visits. My heart is so happy. Yours will be, too, when you find this title and read it to a little friend!

  4. I loved reading about your magical week AND your magical book!
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Barbara! Sometimes I stress about over-sharing but I can't stress enough how joyfully my heart has been touched. Hope you can find this title in your library or local bookstore for your shelves.


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