10 Amazing books to encourage mindfulness

Published on Tuesday, 03 October 2017
Last updated on Thursday, 21 January 2021

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According to Mindful.org, mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are, what you are doing and not overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. It’s a matter of drawing your attention in on the here and now and then pausing to reflect on and notice the present moment.

Regular mindfulness practice has been promoted as a way to reduce stress and anxiety and to improve mental health and wellbeing and it is gaining traction in both the corporate and medical world. In addition, a recent article on Kidsmatter.edu.au highlights some of the special benefits of mindfulness training for children:

  • Research shows that mindfulness training increases connectivity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is linked to improved attention, memory processing and decision making abilities.
  • Mindfulness training involves tuning in to internal and external experiences with curiosity resulting in increased self-awareness, social awareness, and self-confidence.
  • Mindfulness training increases children’s ability to self-regulate their emotions, especially difficult emotions such as fear and anger, through breathing and other grounding techniques.
  • Mindfulness has been shown to improve empathy or the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling, which improves children’s awareness of others and helps them to build positive relationships.

The good thing about mindfulness practice is that it is simple and easy to incorporate in daily life. There are a number of organisations offering mindfulness training for early childhood providers, who can then go on to introduce the basic concepts and practices to the children in their service.

Here are 10 beautiful books about mindfulness that can scaffold and build on that learning:


by Lemniscates

Beautifully illustrated and written Silence encourages children to stop, listen and reflect on their experiences in the world around them. Using practices from mindfulness readers are invited to pay attention to the sounds that may otherwise be drowned out and use those sounds as a tool for developing imagination and curiosity.

Anh's Anger

by Gail Silver

When Anh gets angry with his granddad after being called to dinner before he has finished playing, his granddad helps him experience all stages of anger by suggesting he go to his room and 'sit with his anger'. This reflection time helps Anh acknowledge, process and deal with his anger.

Visiting Feelings

by Lauren Rubenstein

This book encourages children to sense, explore and befriend their feelings with acceptance and calmness. With beautiful pictures and words this book helps children explore the full range of their emotions and nurture a sense of mindfulness.

A Handful of Quiet- Happiness in Four Pebbles

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Pebble meditation is a fun and simple activity that educators can do with children to introduce them to the basic concepts of meditation. The activity described in this book is hands-on and creative and can help children cope with stress, increase concentration and teach children how to be grateful.

Peaceful Piggy Meditation

by Kerry Lee MacLean

Sometimes life seems like it's all about hurrying--so many places to go and so many people to see and sometimes it's hard when things don't go your way--it can make a piggy angry and sad. So how do young piggies find a peaceful place in a frustrating world? They meditate!

What Does it Mean to be Present?

by Rana DiOrio

Being present means…Noticing when someone needs help, waiting patiently for your turn and focusing on what's happening now. This book follows a group of friends at school, at home, and at the beach as they experience just what it means to be present.

Meditation is an Open Sky

by Whitney Stewart

This book teaches mindfulness meditation for kids using simple exercises to help them better manage stress and other challenging feelings. Using colourful drawings and simple language children can learn how to feel safe when they are scared, relax when they are anxious and calm when they are angry.

Good Morning Yoga

by Mariam Gates

This beautifully illustrated book, best read at the start of the day, helps children learn how to focus, relax, and self-monitor and self-soothe through simple yoga poses. This book will help children feel joy and excitement as they embark on a day of adventures and play based learning.

Mindful Monkey, Playful Panda

by Lauren Alderfer

At the start of this story Monkey is not so mindful, but he encounters a mysterious and playful friend in Peaceful Panda. Panda helps Monkey recognise the joy of doing things in the moment, without distraction, and with peaceful and happy mind.

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