August 23, 2012

Good People Everywhere. ~ Miri McDonald

A Children’s Book Review

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Mindfulness made accessible for kids!

In yoga classes, we are often reminded to “live our yoga off the mat,” meaning to bring the same mindfulness we bring to our practice, into our lives. Lynea Gillen’s new children’s book, Good People Everywhere, is a lesson in living yoga off the mat.

Spreading the Good News

The book begins, “Today, in neighborhoods all over the world, millions and millions of people are doing very good things.”

As a parent, the barrage of negative news stories can bring doubts about how you’ll show your little ones the good in the world.

As adults, we can be guilty of taking people doing good things for granted. Perhaps it is because many of these people are not authors, politicians, inventors, rock stars or television personalities. They are simple people just like you and me. I love how Gillen brings them forward and pays them their due attention. Take this quote:

“Today, people are planting seeds, picking fruits and vegetables and driving them to grocery stores all around the world, so you can have a ripe, juicy orange in your lunch.”

In that single phrase, Gillen brings attention to gardeners, truck drivers and grocery store employees while simultaneously planting the idea that an orange grows from a seed. I also love how the orange is described as ripe and juicy, engaging the child’s senses.

Kristina Swarner’s illustrations bring warmth and friendliness to the book. Brilliantly vibrant colors and images help young readers imagine these people in our lives.

Small hands can make a huge difference.

Gillen closes almost as she began, with the reminder of good people doing good things, but this time challenges the reader. A simple truth combined with curiosity:

“And so will you. I wonder what you will do.”

This invitation to imagine the good things they’ll do will hopefully encourage young readers to continue the beautiful cycle of mindful, positive acts.



Miri McDonald works in strategic communications, is a mom to two young boys, a wife to a fabulous husband and a yogini on and off the mat. She and her family live in Madison, WI where they eat too much cheese and enjoy the good things the amazing WI farmers grow. She tweets at @mirimcdonald.




Editor: ShaMecha Simms

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