Smiling Heart Meditations with Lisa and Ted
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
UK Pub Date: Nov 21 2014
Smiling Heart Meditations with Lisa and Ted is a children’s picture book aimed at trying to help provide children with effective techniques for overcoming feelings of impatience, frustration and anger. We do so by joining Lisa, Ted and their dog, Bingo (our narrator) as they have a day trip to the beach. Along the way we encounter some familiar situations: Impatience at getting somewhere – are we there yet? And of not being able to master new thing immediately – surf board.
The book tells us how to use Smiling Heart Sounds – using the power of smiling along with sound making, deep-breathing and visualising to help children self manage anger and stress. For example it introduces techniques such as having you eyes closed and moving eyes left to right ten times whilst visualising nasty things and then watching it fade away. Of breathing in ‘good energy’ and breathing out your ‘bad’ feelings and thoughts. In our household we have recently been trying to introduce deep breathing as a method of trying to calm our daughter down when she is having a meltdown, so this book is quite timely.
As a picture book/story my daughter felt a bit bored by it, but we did try doing the moving eyes technique just for fun, and it was useful to show that the idea of deep breathing was not one we had just plucked from mid-air.
I personally liked the blend of drawings and photos used in the book and the author succeeds in getting her message over, but I also agreed with my daughter that the actual story itself could have been stronger. My daughter is five and not yet reading for herself so with a lot of competition for bedtime and daytime reading, this book isn’t strong enough, or quirky enough, for this to be a ‘must re-read’ over and over one in our household. It may come into its own, at a later date, when my daughter is reading more on her own, but for now Lisa and Ted’s numbers are not really coming up.